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This book is dedicated 
to the people of Summers 
County, who have, for thirty 
years, so loyally showed 
their faith in a penniless 
youth of their oirn soil, 
and to ivhom he is indebted 
for whatever of success or 
honor he Jtas attained in 
their midst. 



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The people of this county have not heretofore taken the interest 
in their past ancestry to which that ancestry was entitled, or the 
interest that should exist in all men of the present for the past. 

Local history and tradition is to many of the greatest interest' 
and value, and no man should fail to feel some pride in the place 
of his nativity, or the ancestor from whom he sprang, however 
humble they may have been. All helped to build up and create 
this nation and its civilization, now becoming more populous than 
are the stars in the heavens, and whose people are as numerous 
as the sand of the sea. Those pioneers who spent their lives in 
clearing the forests, preparing and laying the foundations for the 
happiness of myriads to follow, deserve not oblivion, although many 
of the incidents and facts of a local value are lost to history, and 
no history of a local community can be complete without them ; 
it is to be hoped this imperfect chronicle may at least create a 
greater interest for the future. 

Each citizen should remember that he is not the beginning 
nor the end of his family. He only counts one in the census. As 
he reveres his father, so will his children revere him ; as he honors 
his father, so will his chilorni honor hir.i. cAid no sure as he forgets 
his ancestry, so sure will pos.tenty foigei. him., and his name will 
pass from this world into the same cblivion that forever enshrouds 
the Hottentot, the Hindoo and iht; heathen. People will look for- 
ward to posterity who nevei look backv/iird to their ancestry, and 
in a crude way we have undertaken to preserve to posterity some 
of those events which have not yet passed into oblivion. 

The leading incidents of the life of a small and weak munic- 
ipality will be chronicled, of one only, which goes to make up a 
small integral part, and influences of the destinies of the great 


viii PREFACE. 

republic (it will be simply, "the short and simple annals of the 
poor"), which may be thus preserved to future posterity, chronicled 
at a time "whereof the memory of man runneth not to the con- 
trary" — at a time when the Republic is on the high road to greater 
achievements and glory, and at a time when we are proud that we 
are the direct descendants of the hardy pioneers, one of whose chief 
glories was in his priceless honor and patriotism and in his aiding 
in making this land the land of the "free and the home of the brave." 

Our readers will appreciate that this book is aimed to be and 
is exclusively a chronicle of our own and of prescribed territory, 
and not of adjoining and contiguous territory, and also that it is 
fragmentary, prepared at odd moments. 

I am under obligations to numerous friends for aid rendered 
in providing me data in regard to famil}^ history, especially to 
Prof. George W. Lilly, relating to the Lilly, Farley and Cook fami- 
lies ; J. Lee Barker as to the Barker ancestry; David Graham in re 
the Graham family and ancient incidents; Reverends W. F. Hank, 
G. W. Hollandsworth and L. L. Lloyd, and G. W. Leftwich, James 
Gwinn, Harrison Gwinn, Esqrs., in regard to church history ; to 
W. W. Jones, Evan B. Neely, I. G. Garden, J. E. C. L. Hatcher for 
information as to the enlisted Confederate soldiers; Hon. B. P. 
Shumate, Hon. S. \Y . Willey and Andrew L. Campbell, Esq., J. M. 
Meador and W. H. Boude for court records and other courtesies. 
The lineage of numerous families would have been more complete 
had I received the response and aid of those from whom informa- 
tion was requested. 

December i, /Hp^.l • ' '' 
/lit'' ' 

James H. Miller. 

I ' ' I c It «».J 

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Territorial Lineage 1 

Lord Fairfax ' 4 


Fragments of Ancient History 15 

First Declaration of Independence 25 


Aboriginal and Ancient 31 

Diagram of Fort 42 

In the Early Days 47 

Topography, Geography, etc 66 

First Settlers and Pioneers 85 

First Settlers of Hinton 103 


Formation of Summers County 1 14 

Act establishing Summers County 1 16 




First County Officials and Organization 124 

Elections— 1871 134 

1872 139 

1874 163 

1875 166 

1876 169 

1877 166 

1878 177 

1880 : 178 

1882 184 

1883 191 

1884 '. 194-197 

Capitol Election 171 

Miscellaneous information, 1871-1890, see Chapter IX. . 


Some Chronological Data 150 

Ayers, Jas. M facing 184 

Breen, M. N facing 184 


Changes 198 


In War Times 202 

Camp Allen Woodrum 217 

Harrison, Nathaniel 228 

Prices During the War 226 

Rebellion, Last Fight of 228 

Results of War 226 

Soldiers 210 

Soldiers, Federal 218 

Soldiers, Spanish-American War 219 

Session Acts of West Virginia Legislature, 1866 227 

Woodrum, Allen, Death of 208 


Bank of Hinton 245 

Hinton, Distances from 246 

Hinton Hardware Co 247 

National Bank of Summers 244 



Land Titles 249 

West, John, Lands .■ 264 


Elections 266 

1884 ; 272 

1888 272 

1890 '. 273 

1892 273 

1894 274 

1896 275 

1898 277 

. 1900 278 

1902 : 281 

1904 .' 281 

Elections, prior, see Chapter IX. 


Schools 290 

Graded Schools 300 

History of Education in Summers County 295 



Churches 302 

Baptist, Bluestone 323 

Baptist, Central ^ 321 

Baptist, Fairview 316 

Baptist, Indian Mills 304 

Baptist, Lick Creek 308 

Baptist, Rollinsburg 305 

Christian, Indian Mills 320 

Methodist Episcopal South, Forest Hill 319 

Methodist Episcopal South, Hinton 303 

Methodist Episcopal South, Talcott 318 

Oak Grove Church 322 

Presbyterian, Green Sulphur 315 

Presbyterian, Hinton 305 

Presbyterian, Keller 312 

Saint Patrick's Church 317 


Hotels 325 

Hotel McCreery 327 



Political ~ 329 

Graham, C. H 344 

Roads 344 

Names 351 



Adams, Hon. W. W '. 684 

Alley, W. S 724 

Ayres, James M 184 

Bowling, Walter P '. 496 

Baber, C. A 512 

Bolton, Jas. D 534 

Brightwell, W. J 418 

Bolton, H. A 423 

Bolton, Rev. A. D 280 

Bacon, Nathaniel 672 

Barker, J. Lee 678 

Boude, Walter H 702 

Breen, Captain M. N 184 

Barksdale, Wm. Leigh 572 

Ballangee, David Graham '710 

Campbell. A. N : 624 

Campbell, Jas. P 624 

Campbell, A. L 654 

Clark, Chas 478 

Compton Family 490 

Capeller, John 452 

Codle, James E 434 

Daly, A. D 488 

Dunn, Hon. E. L 576 

Dunn, L. M 604 

Ewart, F ' 568 

Ewart-Miller Building 832 

Ford, Hon. A 592 

Flanagan, A. G 612 

Flanagan, Robt. R 618 

Foss Bridge 738 

Fowler, Elbert 460 

Fox, Dr. J. A 712 




Gallagher, F. M 654 

Gwinn, M 660 

Gwinn, Andrew 660 

Garnett, W. H 734 

George, Jas. H 518 

Graham, Chas. H 344 

Garden, Chas., Sr 526 

Graham, David 364 

Graham, R. Hunter 364 

Graham, John 370 

Graham, J. A 370 

Gooch, Benjamin P 418 

Gwinn, H 508 

Gerow, Henry S 234 

Harrison, J. C >. 592 

Heflin, Archie Roy 606 

Harvey, John E 618 

Hoge, B. L 724 

Hutchinson, A. M 508 

Hobbs, Jas. A 526 

Hinton, John 534 

Haynes, Wm 560 

Hutchinson, Michael, and Wife 560 

Higginbotham, Upshur 428 

Hatfield, Captain 444 

Hinton, Joseph 408 

Hinton, Mrs. Avis 664 

Hedrick, Wm. C 544 

Johnston, Albert Sydney 606 

James, J. C 502 

Jordan, G. L. and J. H 380 

Jones, W. W 423 

Jones, W. W 280 

Keatley, A. J 496 

Kesler, O. T 568 

Keadle, J. E 435 

Lilly, Geo. W 464 

Lilly, Greenlee 464 

Lilly, T. H 472 

Lavender, J. B 472 

Lilly, G. L 390 

Litsinger, P. K 794 

McCreery, Jas. T ' 580 

Manning, M. A 604 



Mann, Thos. G : 672 

McLaughlin, Nannie B 478 

Miller, Four Generations 386 

Miller. Geo. A 390 

Miller. Wm. E 394 

Miller, James H Frontispiece 

Miller, James H 400 

Miller, C. L ; 394 

Meador, Joe M 404 

Meador, D. M 404 

Meadows, A. G 408 

Maxwell, Robert H. 434 

Neeley, L. M., Sr 696 

Neeley, L. M., Jr 696 

Noell, N. W 512 

Pack, Rebecca 448 

Pack, Josephus 452 

Pence, A. P 720 

Peck, Shannon P 484 

Read, Thos. Nash 484 

Ryan, W. G 550 

Richmond, John A 412 

Smith, Jas. F 670 

Shumate, B. P 460 

Sawyers, Wm. H 488 

Swope, J. J 444 

Taylor, S. F 656 

Thompson, Benj . S 702 

Thompson, Hon. Wm. R 634 

Woodrum, Major Richard 656 

West Virginia Colony 812 

Withrow, C. Wran 412 

Warren, M. M 416 

Warren, W. H 416 

Wiseman, John W 550 

Willey, S. W 502 

Walsh, Father David 576 

Walker, Lee 794 

History of Summers County 



This continent was claimed to have been discovered by the 
Icelanders, by the Welsh and the Norwegians, and no doubts exist 
but that there are reasons and foundations for these claims ; but the 
discoveries, whatever were made, were accidental, and were not 
from a preconceived effort to discover a new world by the applica- 
tion of scientific principles, and the discoveries were useless to civili- 
zation or mankind. The merit of all is due to the native of Genoa, 
and it has for ages, by universal consent, been properly conceded to 
him. Of the existence of this world Columbus only knew from his 
science, and his adventurous daring led him to seek for it and to 
find it. He it is to whom we are entitled to give all the undivided 
glory for an exploit, and for which he only received the ignoring 
of his sovereign and of his contemporaries ; and to Italy the glory 
of being the birthplace of this illustrious man, from whose great 
and brilliant achievements a new world has arisen from the wil- 
derness inhabited by a savage people, and on whose soil great 
nations have grown, as well as the most splendid civilization, as 
well as an example of the glorious liberties intended by the Creator. 
This discovery was on the 14th day of October, 1492, nearly 300 
years before any white settlements were made permanent west of 
the Allegheny Mountains. 

The first attempt to settle the Virginia country was made by 
Sir Walter Raleigh in 1584, but this settlement failed. The settlers 
became discouraged, and, on being visited by the famous Sir Fran- 
cis Drake, pulled up and sailed back for England, just as supplies 
and aid were coming to their relief. Later, Raleigh sent other sup- 
plies, never forgetting his colonists, but all met with disaster, and 
thus failed the first attempt at a settlement, which was on the island 


of Roanoke, North Carolina, but then known as Virginia. These 
settlers had fatal experiences with the Indians, who were savage 
and barbarous towards their enemies, but kind and helpful towards 
their friends. Raleigh was a gallant nol:)leman, imprisoned and 
beheaded by his sovereign, Queen Elizabeth. 

The next effort for a settlernent was that at Jamestown, on the 
James River, in 1606, under a charter granted by King James the 
First. This charter included the present territorv of West Vir- 
ginia, and this settlement was to be a permanent one, and was the 
first on the new continent and world discovered by Columbus. 
Capt. John Smith was appointed governor, but his associates were 
jealous, and deposed him before his investment; but he was the 
leading spirit, and soon all matters concerning the government of 
the colonists were referred to him. The settlements were confined 
to the region east of the Blue Kidge for the first one hundred years 
after the Smith settlement at Jamstown, when Alex. Spottswood, 
in 1710, was made governor, and soon after, with a troop of thirty 
horse, explored the valley l:)eyond the top of the Blue Ridge, for 
which notable, daring event he was knighted by the King of Eng- 
land, and these adventurers were known to history as the Horseshoe 
Knights by reason of the gift of the king to Spottswood of a minia- 
ture golden horseshoe, with the motto inscribed, "Sic jurat trans cen- 
dere montes," after the Smith settlement at Jamestown, when Alex. 
Spottswood was succeeded by Gooch as governor, a general of the 
British army, who has descendants now in this and Mercer Coun 
ties; Dr. Carl Gooch and Mr. Thomas Gooch. After this notable 
event the valley was settled, and a lunatic ventured across the Al- 
leghenies, and wandered into the Greenbrier region, and, on wan- 
dering back to his old habitations, he reported in the country quanti- 
ties of game, after which the adventurer, the hunter and the trapper 
came and went, reporting the country, and finally came the pioneer 
and the settler. The government of the country was altogether 
under the British Crown until 1776, when the Declaration of 
Independence was written, and after that glorious event the juris- 
diction passed to the Commonwealth of Virginia, under which it 
continued until the twenty-third day of June, 1863, at which date 
West Virginia was admitted into the Union, and since that date 
under the jurisdiction of that Commonwealth. 

This territory was a part of the original thirteen States named 
in honor of Elizabeth, the virgin Queen of England, and comprised 
all of the territory north of Florida extending from ocean to ocean 
across this continent from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and when the 


charter was granted by the Crown of England creating the South 
Virginia Company, usually known as the London Company, prac- 
tically the whole of North America was called X'irginia, and in- 
cluded the territory between thirty-four degrees and forty-five de- 
grees north latitude, and the London Company's charter in \"ir- 
ginia was between thirty-four and forty-one degrees north latitude, 
it being conceded that south of what was known as Florida belonged 
to Spain, and that the northern region was conceded to France, but 
much of the territory within the London Company's charter, or 
Virginia territory, was claimed as within the dominion of the 
French Kings. The session of territory from the State of Vir- 
ginia to the United States was made March L 1784, and the gift 
from Virginia to the general government was 195,43L680 acres, the 
most valuable gift to the nation ever bestowed upon it. The ter- 
ritory of Virginia now, after all its sessions and mutilations, is 
about 40,000 square miles, after the last slice was taken therefrom 
of 23,000 square miles and formed into West Virginia. 

A'^irginia was divided into eight original counties in 1634, 
the first division of the kind recorded in history, and in one 
of these eight counties our territory was included as a part 
of Accomack County, later Northampton, after the Earl of North- 
umberland. To show the recklessness with which the British 
Kings gave away their dominions in Virginia, and what little value 
they attached thereto, we mention the grant by Charles II. in b/)l 
to Lord Hopton. which included all of the territory lying in .Amer- 
ica, bounded by and within the headwaters of the Rappahannock, 
the Potomac and the Chesapeake Bay. It was sold by the patentee 
to Lord Culpepper in 1683, and was confirmed by further patents 
from James IL, and is known as the famous Fairfa.x Domin- 
ions. The elder Lord Fairfax, who was the fifth of the line 
married the only daughter of Lord Culpepper. These land.s. 
descended to the son of this marriage, Lord Thomas Fairfa.x, the 
sixth Baron of Cambridge. He came to Virginia in 1739 to look- 
after his estate. This estate included the territory comprised within 
the counties of Fincastle, Northumberland, Richmond, Westmore- 
land, King George, Stafford, Prince William, Fauquier, Fairfax. 
Louden, Culpepper, Clark, Madison, Page, Shenandoah and Fred- 
erick, which were within the present limits of Virginia, and Hardy, 
Hampshire, Morgan, Berkeley and Jcfiferson within the State of 
West Virginia, in all aggregating 6,000.000 acres : and it was this 
Fairfax that discovered that the Potomac River headed in the .Al- 
legheny Mountains, and the innumerable law suits growing out of 


the same created the commissions and the planting of the famous 
Fairfax Stone. Augusta County, formed in 1738 from Orange, was 
named in honor of Princess Augusta. West Augusta was never a 
county or a political or municipal division, but was a great expanse 
of all the territory west of the top of the AUeghenies, and was 
called West Augusta, but was never recognized by legislative or 
other enactments. 


This English lord, with all his dominion, equal to a great com- 
monwealth, lived and died in a single story-and-a-half house. He 
owned 150 negro servants, who lived in log huts scattered about in 
the woods. Fairfax's house was destroyed by fire in 1834. Lord 
Dunmore brought his forces to this place in 1784, when he was 
marching after the Indians toward Point Pleasant. They dug a 
deep well at this place and erected a magazine for war purposes. 
Fairfax was a dark, swarthy man, several inches over six feet, of 
gigantic frame and of great strength. He was a bachelor, and lived 
on the coarse fare of the country, the same as that of the peasantry 
around him. When in a humor he was generous, giving away 
whole farms and requiring nothing in return. He would give away 
a farm in exchange for the courtesy of a turkey killed for him for 
dinner. Fairfax County was named after him. 

Our territory was within the boundaries of that Commonwealth 
which furnished an example to the world by adopting a perfectly 
independent Constitution ; the first to recommend the Declaration 
of Independence ; the first to declare for "religious freedom" ; it 
furnished her great son, first among the leaders of the army of the 
nation ; and her officers and soldiers, whether in the shock of battle 
or marching, half-clad, ill-fed and barefooted, amid the snows of 
the North, through pestilential marshes and under burning suns in 
the far South, evinced a bravery and fortitude unsurpassed. The 
War of the Revolution was practically extinguished in 1780 at the 
surrender at Yorktown of Lord Cornwallis, and then began the 
great impetus to the development and settlement of the territory to 
the west of the AUeghenies by the pioneers, the ancestors of the 
present generation in the land ; and it was within the territory which 
produced Jefiferson, Marshall, Madison, Monroe, Masons, Nicholas, 
Henry, Randolph, Pendleton, Lees, Wythe, Harrison, Bland, Tay- 
lor, Grayson, and a host of others who met and formed the glorious 
Constitution of 1788, under which we live, and within the territory 
of the Commonwealth which so loyally supported her President. 


Madison, in the second war with England in 1812, furnishing sol- 
diers whose descendants still inhabit this territory. 

This territory is within the boundary of the commonwealth 
which first introduced religious liberty to the world. The most of 
the institutions of this country have grown by evolution from be- 
ginnings made by the early settlers and brought by the aboriginal 
ancestors from their homes across the seas. We have no stories 
of royal dynasties, or orders of nobility, or ancient castles. They 
are wanting in our American history, but we have much to com- 
pensate us for all we lack of the more ancient days — the story of 
marvelous development and unprecedented growth of our peoples 
and institutions. We have the personal story of barefoot boys, 
born among the lowly, but untrammeled by the iron fetters of 
caste, rising by the force of their own genius to the highest 
ranks of the political and industrial world. The greatest states- 
men of this land, the commanders of armies and captains of indus- 
try, have practically all arisen from the commonest walks, and the 
true stories of this country are more fascinating than any history 
of the ancients. It also recites the removal of an ancient race 
from the soil upon which has been transplanted another. We see 
the wild man of the forest in his native haunts, where he chases 
the wild animals, the deer and buffalo, or where he strives with his 
enemies in battle. His life was full of tragedy and wrongs — of 
rivalry, hatred and love. He was living in the vast solitudes of 
nature, in appearance content with his family and kindred who 
made the crude surroundings, and in a few short years you follow 
a stronger race coming from across the seas, and the long warfare 
between civilization and barbarian began. The wild man yielded 
or fled before the forces of a modern life, or died in the struggle 
with civilized forces. Then followed the pioneer with his axe, his 
cattle and his plow, and then began the development of a conti- 
nent. The new world became the home of the oppressed from 
every land. Towns rise where the forest waved over the wild 
man's home, and our hills and valleys resound with the teeming 
life of an industrious and ambitious people. 

vSummers County was originally a part of the territory of Y\r^ 
ginia, settled by the English in 1607, by Capt. John Smith, a sol- 
dier of fortune, who had in the wars between the Turks and the 
Austrians, as a soldier of the Austrian Army, been wounded, cap- 
tured and sold into slavery in the Crimea, later killing his master 
with a flail while threshing wheat. He wandered through Ger- 
many and France, and finally landed in England as a colony was 


being made up, which sailed and settled at Jamestown three hun- 
dred years ago. He was a man of great capacity for adventure, 
and his life was saved by the Indian princess Pocahontas. He was 
the founder of Virginia, the first commonwealth in the world to be 
composed of county political subdivisions, based on universal suf- 
frage. In 1634 \*irginia was divided into eight counties. The first 
hundred year's settlements were in the Piedmont and Tidewater 
regions. The solitudes west of the Blue Ridge were not pene- 
trated until one hundred years after the Jamestown settlement. 
Alexander Spottswood, whose descendants owned twenty-eight 
thousand acres of land in Summers County until about 1884, led 
the first band of adventurers to the summit of the Blue Ridge. He 
was born in 1676. in Tangiers, Africa. His father had been a sol- 
dier under Marlborough, and was dangerously wounded by the 
French, at the battle of Blenheim. 

He landed in Mrginia June 23, 1710. As Lieutenant Governor 
Spottswood, with thirty ca^-alier horsemen, left A\'illiamsburg June 
20, 1716, passing through King William, Middlesex, thence to the 
Rappahannock, the Rapidan, Green County ; Blue Ridge, at Swift 
Run Gaps, crossing the Shenandoah ten miles below Port Republic 
in Rockingham County, until, on the 5th of September, 1716, they 
arrived at one of the loftiest peaks of the Appalachian Range, in 
Pendleton County, W. Va. 

veyor, made the first scientific observations ever made upon the 
.Allegheny Mountains. 

Said Spottswood was born, as stated, in Tangiers, in Africa, a 
colony of the English Crown, in 1676, and seems to have been some- 
thing of a soldier of fortune. He served with the famous dissolute 
Duke of Marlborough, and was wounded at Blenheim. After his good 
fortune in becoming a ruler in Virginia, he determined to explore 
the territory west of the Allegheny Mountains, and learn more of 
the western region ; and with that end in view organized a party of 
thirty horsemen at Williamsburg, and left that town on the 20th of 
June, 1716, and reached the highest peak of the Alleghenies, which 
is in Pendleton County, West Virginia, on the 5th day of Septem- 
ber, 1716; and there Robert Brook, the King's surveyor, made the 
first scientific observation ever made in the Allegheny Mountains. 
To induce western settlements, Spottswood instituted the Knights 
of the Golden Horseshoe, the insignia of the order being a minia- 
ture horseshoe, with the inscription thereon, ''Sic jurat trans cen- 
dere montcs" — "Thus he swears to cross the mountain." These 
were given by Spottswood to any one who would comply with the 
inscription, and carrv out his project to secure exploration of this 


In Talcott, Forest Hill and Pipestem Districts in 

the Days of Tobacco Growing-. 



A1T'^^, LENOX ANfc 
riLns.K F- v-< - - • 


western country, and secure emigration thereto. The Shenandoah 
Valley, through which runs the Shenandoah River — "The Daugh- 
ter of the Stars" — had not then been settled. 

The close of the Revolution, followed by the victory of Wayne 
at Fallen Timbers over the Indians, crushing their power, finally 
opened the way for the pioneer and settler west of the Alleghenies. 

In 1776 Thomas Jefiferson, within three days after he took his 
seat in the Legislature, introduced a bill for the establishment of 
courts of justice, and three days later a bill to convert estates — tail 
into fee simple. This was a blow to the aristocracy of Virginia. 

In the early days of the colony of Virginia large grants of land 
had been obtained from the Crown of England by a favored few 
individuals, which had been preserved in their families by means 
of entails, so as to form by degrees a political class among the 
colonists, and the same class monopolized the civil honors. Mr. 
Jefferson's reason for destroying this condition is given in his 
own words : "To annul this privilege, and, instead of an aristocracy 
of wealth of more harm and danger than benefit to society, to make 
an opening for the aristocracy of virtue and talent, which nature 
his wisely provided, for the direction of the interests of society, and 
scattered with an equal hand through all its conditions, was deemed 
essential to a well-ordered republic." Mr. Jefferson also intro- 
duced the law about this time to abolish the preferences given to 
the male sex and the first born, as provided by the English common 
law. The effects of these changes in the distribution of estates 
are very visible at this day in our country. 

Mr. Jefferson also about the same time had passed the law 
abolishing the church establishment, and put all religious sects on 
the same footing. The Church of England was the legally estab- 
lished religion of the territory of all Virginia up to this date. The 
Bill of Rights, drawn by George Mason on the 12th of June, 1776, 
distinctly provided for religious freedom ; but the Constitution, 
passed on the 29th, was silent on the subject. 

The territory credited to this county is 400 square miles, the 
constitutional minimum now and at the date of its formation ; but, 
thanks to legal hocus pocus and fictions, we have not the consti- 
tutional territory, but we have the county as a municipality, and 
have managed to live, thrive, increase and grow, and will do so 
until the end of time, or until it shall have the calamity to fall 
into the wicked hands of the political ringster, grafter and buc- 
caneer. Its healthy thrift and growth, as exhibited in the thirty- 


six years of its life, is by reason of the strong, honest and fearless 
good government which has controlled its destinies. It is not to 
be assumed that its strongest, ablest, or wisest men have always 
been in the saddle, but we assert that honesty and fair and just 
principles have always guided the representatives of this little 
mountain municipality ; and, so long as honor continues to prevail 
in the councils of its people, they will have no cause for shame, 
and will continue as free and independent as the followers of 
William Tell. 

Summers County was formed by an Act of the Legislature of 
West Virginia in 1871, introduced by Hon. Sylvester Upton, Repub- 
lican representative from Mercer County, residing in Jumping 
Branch Township, on New River Hills, and a most honorable, 
intelligent and fearless man. His actions at that day, when ostra- 
cism, "test oathism" and "carpet baggism" were rank in the land, 
stamped him as a noble man, and one of God's best on the earth. 
Its boundary lines, as set forth by the formative act, includes the 
two districts, Jumping Branch and Pipestem, that part of the 
county west of New River, taken from Mercer County, which was 
created by an act of the General Assembly of Virginia, on the 
17th day of March, 1837, and was named after the Revolutionary 
General, Hugh IMercer, who was killed in the Revolutionary War 
of 1776, at the battle of Princeton. The county seat was named 
Princeton because it was the place of the tragic termination of 
the life of this great soldier, who was, at the beginning of the 
Revolution, a practicing physician at Fredericksburg. 

The boundaries of Mercer County, by the Act creating it, were 
as follows: "Beginning at the mouth of East River, in Giles 
County, and following the meanders thereof up to Toney's Mill 
Dam ; thence along the top of the mountain to a point opposite the 
upper end of the plantation of Jessie Belcher, deceased ; thence a 
straight line to Peery's Mill Dam, near the mouth of Alp's (Abb's) 
Valley; thence to a point well known by the name of Peeled 
(Pealed) Chestnuts ; thence to the top of Flat Top Mountain ; 
thence along said mountain to New River ; thence up and along 
the various meanders of the same to the beginning." "It shall 
form one distinct and new county, and be known and called by the 
name of Mercer County, in memory of Gen. Hugh Mercer, who 
fell at Princeton." The governor was authorized to appoint jus- 
tices for the new county, and among those who were thus first 
commissioned who were from the territory cut oflf later to Sum- 
mers, were Robert Lilly and Robert Gore (the ancestors of the 


great Lilly generation and of the gallant Capt. Robert Gore, the 
first president of a county court in the new county). The first 
meeting of the justices for organization was at the house of James 
Calfee, one mile from Princeton, on the second Monday of 
April, 1837. John H. Vawter, of Monroe, and John B. George, of 
Tazewell, were appointed commissioners to run and mark the 
county line. Moses E. Kerr was the first clerk and \Vm. Smith 
the first sheriff, and Robert Hall surveyor. The first Circuit Court 
was held May 1, 1837, by Judge James E. Brown, of Wythe County, 
who appointed John M. Cunningham clerk and Thos. J. Boyd, at- 
torney for the Commonwealth. Among the first grand jurors for 
this term were Green W. Meadows and Thomas Maxwell, whose 
descendants still inhabit the present territory of our county, Mercer 
being formed from Tazewell and Giles. Before the war there were 
two voting places in Mercer County, one at Princeton and one at 
Pipestem. The two townships cut off to Summers had formed 
a part of Giles prior to the date of the establishment of Mercer. 

Giles County was created by an Act of the General Assembly 
of Virginia, passed in January, 1806, and named for Hon. Wm. B. 
Giles, a Virginia statesman of note. 

The boundaries of Giles were as follows : "Beginning at the 
end of the Gauley Mountain on New River, where the counties of 
Greenbrier and Kanawha intersect; thence up the (New) River 
with the Greenbrier and Montgomery County line to the upper end 
of Pine's Plantation ; thence a straight line to the mouth of Rich 
Creek ; thence with the Montgomery and Monroe line to the inter- 
section of Botetourt County line and with the line of Montgomery 
and Botetourt to the top of Gap Mountain ; thence along the top 
of said mountain to New River, crossing the same to the end of 
Walker's Creek Mountain : thence along the top of said mountain 
to the intersection' of Wythe County line ; thence northeastward 
and with said line to the intersection of Tazewell County line, and 
with Tazewell and Montgomery County lines to the top of Wolf 
Creek Mountain to a path leading from Round Bottom to Harman's 
Mills, about three miles below the mouth of Clear Fork to Wolf 
Creek; thence a straight line to the mouth of Milton's Fork; thence 
a direct line from Crane Creek to the top of Flat Top Mountain : 
thence a direct line to the three forks of the Guyandotte ; thence 
down said river until it intersects the Kanawha County line ; 
thence with said line to the beginning." 

Christian Snidow and John Peck, who were named as first jus- 
tices of the peace, have direct descendants living in Summers, and 


at a much later date there have immigrated into our county from 
Giles a number of our best and most substantial citizens, among 
them Absolem D. Bolton, David Leftwich, William J. Tabor, of 
Bargers Springs, and Wm. T. Gitt, one of the early lot owners in 
Upper Hinton ; C. R. Price, Frank, AI. C. and M. Puckett and J. J. 

Giles County was formed from Montgomery, and Montgomery 
from Fincastle, by an Act of the General Assembly of Virginia, 
passed in October, 1776, the year of the Declaration of Indepen- 
dence. By this act Fincastle County was abolished, its territory 
being partitioned into three counties, Kentucky, Washington and 
Montgomery, Pipestem and Jumping Branch being assigned and 
made a part of the latter. 

Fincastle County was created by an Act of the Virginia As- 
sembly in February, 1772, to take effect December 1st following. 
It was formed by a division of Botetourt County. Fincastle County 
thus included all that territory within a line running up the east 
side of New River to the south of Culbertson's Creek, then a 
direct line to the Catawba Road, where it crosses the dividing ridge 
between the north of the Roanoke and the waters of New River ; 
thence with the top of the ridge to the Bent (Mountain), where it 
turns eastwardly ; thence a southward course to the top of the 
Blue Ridge Mountains, to be established as a distinct county. 

Botetourt County was created by an Act of the Virginia Gen- 
eral Assembly, passed in November, 1769, to take effect January 
31, 1769. Prior to that date all the region included in Botetourt 
County was a part of Augusta County. Botetourt was named after 
a colonial governor of Virginia, Lord Botetourt, and Montgomery 
County after Gen. Richard Montgomery, the Irish patriot who 
fell at Quebec. 

The territory of Botetourt County before the division covered 
a vast region. The Act creating and partitioning Augusta County 
was as follows: "That from and after the 31st day of January next 
ensuing the said parish or county of Augusta be divided into two 
counties and parishes by a line beginning at the Blue Ridge, run- 
ning north 55 degrees, west to the confluence of Mong's Creek 
(or of the South River), with the north branch of the James River; 
thence up the same to the south of Kerr's Creek (Carr's) ; thence 
up said creek to the mountain ; thence north 45 degrees ; west as 
far as the courts of the two counties shall extend it. This line 
strikes the Ohio near Wheeling. 

"From the time of the partition of Virginia into counties, being 





divided into eight, which was the first division of the territory of 
that great Commonwealth, and the first division of the character 
in the history of the world, all of the territory of Augusta, 
in fact, all of the territory of Virginia west of the Blue 
Ridge Mountains, was included in the county of Orange, which 
was organized in 1738 by an Act of the General Assembly of 
Virginia, at which date the territory west of the Blue Ridge was 
divided into Frederick and Augusta counties. Thus it will be seen 
Jumping Branch and Pipestem Districts first were a part of the 
great territory of Virginia, extending from the Atlantic, and in- 
cluding Ohio, Illinois and Kentucky and the Northwest territory; 
then included in Orange County, then in Augusta, then in Bote- 
tourt, then in Fincastle, then Montgomery, then Giles, then Mercer, 
and now Summers County, so that it is within the territory of one 
of the first counties ever laid out on the face of the earth as a 
political municipality. While Orange was not one of the original 
counties of Virginia, it fared in the divisions in a comparatively 
short time after the first division of Virginia^ which was into eight 
distinct counties. These two districts, Pipestem and Jumping 
Branch, came from this root, while the remainder of the county 
came thronrli the Greenbrier source. Forest Hill and Talcott Dis- 
tricts were taken from Monroe County, which included the territory 
from the Lane Bottoms below Alderson near the mouth of Grif- 
fith's Creek, on the opposite side to the top of Keeney's Knob, and 
down the ridge of that mountain to New River at the present site 
of the new school building now in the course of construction in 
Avis ; up New River to Round Bottom ; thence back to Greenbrier 
River, including both Alderson and North Alderson. (See History 
of the County Line Controversy.) This territory was included in 
Monroe, which was cut off from Greenbrier by an Act of the Gen- 
eral Assembly of Virginia, January 14, 1799, Greenbrier being taken 
from Botetourt in October, 1777; by an Act of the General Assembly 
Green Sulphur District was cut from Greenbrier and Fayette. 
Fayette was created by an Act of the General Assembly of Vir- 
ginia in 1831, and was carved out of Greenbrier, Nicholas, Kan- 
awha and Logan." The original act creating Greenbrier County 
was as follows : 

"That from and after the first day of March next ensuing said 
county and parish of Botetourt shall be divided by a line beginning 
on the top of the ridge dividing the eastern from the western 
waters, where the line between Augusta and Botetourt crosses the 
same, and running thence the same course continued, north 55 and 


west to the Ohio River; thence at the ridge of the said hne of 
Botetourt and Augusta, running along the top of said ridge, passing 
the Sweet Springs to the top of Peters Mountain ; thence along the 
said mountain to the line of Montgomery County; thence along 
the same line to the Kanawha or New River ; thence down the said 
river to the Ohio." 

After all its decapitations, Greenbrier is still one of the largest 
counties in area in the State, having 1,000 square miles; Randolph 
having 1,080, being the largest, and Greenbrier the next. Only a 
small part of our territory is from Fayette, being a part of Green 
Sulphur District, which had been a part of Greenbrier from 1778 
until 1831, the first division of Greenbrier being made in 1799 by the 
creation of Monroe. 

Thus it will be seen that our little municipality traces its terri- 
toiisi organization back to the colonization of Virginia and the 
days of Jamestown, Captain John Smith, and the romances of the 
Indian princess, Pocahontas. Its territorial lineage is thus ancient, 
but for much the greater part of the century succeeding the first 
settlements of Virginia, it was only a habitation for savage men, 
wild animals, birds and the reptiles of the forest. 

The districts of Pipestem and Jumping Branch were within 
Giles County at its formation in 1806, and the people therein had 
to attend court at Pearisburg. The first court was held May 13, 
1806, in a house adjoining the dwelling-house of Capt. George 
Pearis on New River, where Pearisburg Station is now located. 
The first justices of the peace in the county were appoined by the 
governor, William H. Cabell, and were George Pearis, Thomas 
Shannon, Christian Snidow, David French, David Johnston, Ed- 
ward McDonald, Isaac Chapman, John Kirk, John Peck, Curtis 
Champ, John Burke and James Bane. David Johnston was com- 
missioned the first sheriff. His bond was $7,000, with Isaac Chap- 
man and Christian Snidow as sureties. James Hoge, deputy; David 
French and John McTaylor, deputies. George Pearis was elected 
presiding justice and commissioner of the revenue; Philip Lybrook, 
county surveyor, and his bond fixed at $3,000, with John Lybrook 
as surety. Isaac Chapman was the first lawyer admitted to prac- 
tice in the courts of Giles County. 


An act of the General Assembly of Virginia, passed January 
13, 1799, dividing Greenbrier County, and by which Monroe County 
was formed, and from which Forest Hill, Talcott and a part of 


Greenbrier District were taken by the Act forming Summers 
County. The beginning Hne as shown by this Act was where the 
ridge dividing eastern and western waters joins Peters Mountain, 
and with a ridge which divides Howard and Second Creek; thence 
to Alderson ; thence to the mouth of Muddy Creek to the divide 
between the waters of Muddy Creek and Griffith's Run, and with 
said divide to Keeney's Knobs, and with said Knobs, including the 
waters flowing into Greenbrier River to New River, and up the 
same to where it breaks through Peters Mountain. 

Greenbrier County, which was formed in 1777, has been, as else- 
where stated, like the old State, partitioned many times. The 
counties which have been taken therefrom in whole or in part are 
as follows: Monroe, Summers, Kanawha, Nicholas, Bath and Fay- 
ette. Logan was formed in 1824 from Giles, Kanawha, Cabell and 
Tazewell; Fayette in 1831 from Logan, Greenbrier, Nicholas and 
Kanawha; Pocahontas in 1821 from Bath, Pendleton and Randolph; 
Nicholas in 1818 from Kanawha, Greenbrier and Randolph, and 
was named after Governor Nicholas. Mason was formed from 
Kanawha in 1804, and was named after George Mason; Giles was 
formed in 1806 from Monroe and Tazewell; Bath was formed in 
1791 from Augusta, Botetourt and Greenbrier; Kanawha was formed 
in 1789 from Greenbrier and Montgomery. It is in Giles County 
where the Salt Pond is situated, on top of the Salt Pond Mountain. 
It is a beautiful natural lake of pure, fresh water on the summit of 
one of the highest spurs of the Alleghenies. It is three miles long 
and a third of a mile wide. At its termination it is damned by a 
huge pile of rocks over which it runs, but which once passed 
through the fissures only. In the spring and summer of 1804 an 
immense quantity of leaves and other rubbish washed in and filled 
up the fissures, since which it has risen twenty-five feet. Previous 
to that time it was fed by a large spring. That finally disappeared, 
and many small springs now flow into it at its upper end. When 
first known it was the resort of vast numbers of elk, bufTalo, deer 
and other animals for drink. Before it filled up it was said to have 
been a place for salting cattle, and it is said that trees of full size 
are standing in its bottom, at this day the water being higher than 
the trees, and at this time it is said to be receding, and at the pres- 
ent rate within a few years will entirely disappear. This is said to 
have occurred before in an intermittent manner with many years 
in the interim. 

This lake was discovered by Christopher Gist, the friend of 
Washington. The water is as clear as crystal. Trees are seen 


standing erect and preserved as they grew. It is tradition that the 
source of overflow became filled by the tramping of cattle and 
animals, and by reason of which the water accumulated in a basin. 
It is now a popular summer resort. 

Montgomery County was formed in 1776 from Fincastle, and 
named for General Richard Montgomery. Part of our territory is 
thus derived from the Montgomery-Fincastle-Botetourt source, and 
the other part from the Greenbrier- Augusta route. 



The outposts of civilization moved west yearly, at an estimate 
of seventeen miles per year. New River was discovered in the year 
1670. In 1671, explorers spent considerable time in the valley of 
New River, but it is not known that they came as far west as West 
Virginia territory. In 1716, Governor Spotswood arrived at the 
summit of the Alleghenies, in Pendleton County. About 1748, the 
lands on Greenbrier River began to attract great attention, and a 
large grant of 100,000 acres was made to the Greenbrier Company 
in 1749. These lands, as well as that region, were surveyed by 
John Lewis, and settlements began to be made soon after, or within 
twenty years, and the frontiers extended to the Ohio River. 

It was in 1751 that Christopher Gist surveyed up Kanawha and 
New Rivers, and climbed to the top of the Hawk's Nest, known in 
history as "Marshall's Pillar." The great chief justice of the United 
States, John Marshall, for whom it was named, having climbed to 
the top of that picturesque rock. 

The French surveyed the Ohio River in 1749, but they made no 
settlements in the West Virginia territory, although they claimed 
dominion to the top of the Allegheny Mountains. In 1763, 
the King of England issued a proclamation forbidding any settle- 
ments west of the Allegheny Mountains, for the purpose of mol- 
lifying the Indians in that territory, but no attention was paid to 
this proclamation by the adventurous settlers. In 1765, the gov- 
ernor of Virginia ordered all settlers west of the Alleghenies to be 
removed from that territory by force. The territory of Monroe 
County was reclaimed from the wilderness fifteen years before the 
Revolutionary War. There were whites in Pocahontas County as 
early as 1749. There were two white settlers who settled at what 
is now known as Marlinton, at the mouth of Knapp's Creek, by 
the name of Stephen Sewell and Peter Marlin. These two gentle- 
men could not agree, and one of them moved into a large hollow 
tree. They would get out in the morning, raise their hats to each 


other, and each go about his business ; the associations not being 
pleasant, however, Sewell moved farther west into what is now 
Fayette County, and it was after him that the Sewell Mountain 
and Sewell Creek were named. He was finally killed by the Indians. 

Christopher Gist, in 1750, made an exploration for the Ohio 
Company west of New River, and, on his return, he passed through 
a part of the territory of what is now Summers County. He came 
through Pipestem District, down Bluestone River and up New 
River, and crossed it at Culbertson's Bottom, now known as 
Crump's or Harmon's Bottom. He went on east, and discovered 
a lake on the top of a high mountain three-fourths of a mile long 
by one-fourth of a mile wide ; no doubt Salt Pond, or now known 
as Mountain Lake, a famous summer resort on top of the Salt Pond 
Mountain in Giles County, Virginia. 

Col. Abraham Wood is supposed to have been the first white 
man to have entered the New River Valley, which was in 1654. He 
crossed the Alleghenies at a place in Floyd County, Virginia, known 
to this day as Wood's Gap, and passed down Little River to New 
River, and, supposing it to be a newly discovered stream, called it 
Wood's River, but it did not retain this name, and was at one time 
known as the "Kanawhy," after a tribe of Indians of that name, 
which at one time inhabited the New River Valley. This river 
did not appear on the map of Thomas Jefferson which he had 
engraved in France in 1755. 

The first settlement on New River was probably at the mouth 
of East River, by a man by the name of Porter; when, in 1748, John 
Toney came into that region, he found evidence of a former habi- 
tation — a cabin and a grave and stone with an engraving as follows 
thereon: "Mary Porter was killed by the Indians, May 28, 1742." 

It was on the second excursion of Dr. Walker across New 
River in southwest Virginia that coal deposits were discovered by 
him. The Flat Top coal deposits, Culbertson's Bottom, the cele- 
brated Crump's Bottom, on which George W. Harman, Esq., now 
lives on New River, was settled by Andrew Culbertson in 1753. 
This is beyond question the first settlement within any part of the 
territory of Summers County. Andrew Culbertson was from Penn- 
sylvania ; and, on the breaking out of the French and Indian War, 
he had to abandon this land, so he sold his claim to his brother, 
Samuel Culbertson, but a patent was not procured, and in 1775 
Thomas Farely had a survey made, and assigned his claim to 
James Byrnsides. 

Long litigation followed over the right of ownership between 


the Culbertsons, Reed and Byrnside. (See Wyth's Chancery Re- 
ports, 150.) 

Thos. Farley, one of the ancestors of the Farley generation, was 
from Albemarle County, Virginia, and immediately, on locating on 
this land, built the Farley Fort on the bank of the river at lower 
end of the bottom at Warford. It was in the fort that James 
Ellison, whose father was from New Jersey, was born in May, 1778. 
The father of James Ellison was in the Battle of Point Pleasant, 
and, after his return home on Culbertson's Bottom, which was on 
October 19th, 1780, while at work in the corn crib, he was attacked 
by a party of seven or eight Indians, wounded in the shoulder and 
carried fifteen miles, escaping on the day of his capture over in 
what is now Jumping Branch District, by hiding under a cliff and 
wearing out the rawhide thongs which bound his hands by rubbing 
them on a rock. 

In 1774, a woman was killed on Culbertson's Bottom by In- 
dians, and a man by the name of Shockley on the mountain there, 
which has from that day been known as Shockley's Hill. 

The James Ellison referred to became an able missionary Bap- 
tist preacher and a pioneer in planting that church in all the region. 
It was he who established the Baptist Church at Oceana, in Wy- 
oming County in 1812, and he was the father of the late Mathew 

Another fort was built at the mouth of Joshua Run on Culbert- 
son's Bottom on the breaking out of Dunsmore's War in 1774. 

It was General Braddock who sent Captain Thomas Lewis 
across the Alleghenies in 1755 to establish a stockade fort to enable 
the white settlers in the region to successfully defend themselves 
against the Indians. This was Field's Fort, built by orders of Gen. 
Braddock on Crump's Bottom. Braddock's defeat soon after left 
the whole of the West Virginia country open to the Indian ravages. 

Pitman, Pack and Swope were trappers and hunters on New 
River in 1763, when fifty Indians came up Big Sandy River, passed 
through Mercer County territory to New River, forming in two 
squads, one going for the Roanoke settlements, and the other to 
the Jackson River settlements, up Indian Creek. These trappers 
discovered them and the route they had followed, and, divining 
their proposed destinations and that they would attack those set- 
tlements. Pitman set out to warn the Jackson River settlements, 
and Pack and Swope to warn the Roanoke people. This was 
Samuel Pack, the ancestor of our Pack generation, and Swope, 
the ancestor of our late fellow citizen, the attorney, J. J. Swope, 


formerly of Pineville, W. Va., and publisher of the Wyoming Moun- 
taineer newspaper. But the trappers were too late ; the Indians were 
ahead and had sacked the settlements, killing a number of people 
and taking others prisoners, after which they retreated to the Ohio 
country, pursued by Capt. Audley Paul, with a company of twenty 
men. They followed the Indians over Dunlap's Creek, down Indian 
Creek to its mouth, to New River, and on to the mouth of Piney, 
in Raleigh County, but failed to overtake them, so they proceeded 
to retrace their steps ; and when they had proceeded on the return 
trip to the mouth of Indian Creek, a point opposite Culbertson's 
Bottom, opposite an island, on the night of October 12th, Capt. 
Paul at midnight discovered the Indians on the island at the mouth 
of the creek where C. A. Baber now lives. Paul's men fired on 
them, and killed three and wounded several others, one of whom 
jumped into the river to prevent Paul's men from taking his scalp. 
The remainder fled down the river. This was the squad which had 
attacked the Roanoke settlements and were being pursued by 
Capt. Wm. Ingles and Capt. Henry Harman from the upper New 
River country. 

The fort at Lewisburg, known as Fort Union, was built in 1770, 

The Cooks settled on Indian Creek in 1769 or 1770, and John 
was killed by Indians at Cook's Fort on this creek, some three miles 
from its mouth. 

The Grahams, Kellers, Hinchmans and Van Bibbers and others 
came on to the grounds about the same time. 

There is recorded another Indian killing at Culbertson's Bottom 
in 1774, and I take from Judge Johnston's "Middle New River 
Settlements" the account of the affair, the principal events of which 
were without the borders of our county. 

Philip Lybrook and a man by the name of McGriff had built 
their colonies in a little bottom just below the mouth of Sinking 
Creek, on the farm lately known as that of Craft or Hall, and were 
engaged in the cultivation of a small crop of corn on the bottom 
lands. Mr. Lybrook had built a small mill on a branch. It was 
the custom in that day when people were few in the country, for 
young people to assemble or get together on Sunday, and it so 
happened that on the 7th day of August, 1774, that some of the 
children of Mrs. Elizabeth Snidow, with a woman by the 
name of Scott, went on a visit from the fort to Lybrooks and 
McGriffs. Lybrook was busy about his mill ; McGriff was in the 
house, and the young people and the smaller children were at the 
river. Two of the young men, Snidow and Lybrook, were out in 


the river some distance bathing, and three or four of the little boys 
were in the river near the bank, and a young woman, a daughter 
of Lybrook, was out in the river in a canoe with some of the 
smaller children therein, when an Indian was discovered on a high 
bank on the brink of the river. An alarm was given. The two 
young men in the river made for the opposite shore. The Indians, 
in the meantime, began to shoot at them. Being expert swimmers, 
they turned and swam on their backs, their faces being turned to 
the Indians, which enabled them to watch their movements. The 
four small boys playing in the edge of the river were, viz., Theop- 
hilus Snidow, Jacob Snidow, Thomas McGrilif and John Lybrook. 
There were some deep gullies washed down through the banks 
of the river, by way of which wild animals had made their way to 
the river to get water. When the little boys discovered the Indians, 
they attempted to escape by way of these breaks in the banks, and, 
as they did so, the Indians would head them off. Finally one 
Indian stooped down and placed one hand on his knee as a rest 
for his gun, and attempted to shoot one of the young men in the 
river, and at this moment John Lybrook, a boy of eleven years, 
ran under the muzzle of the gun, and made for the house. So 
soon as the Indian fired he pursued John, and, coming to one of 
the gullies which had washed out about twelve feet wide, the 
Indian close after him, John leaped the gully, and the Indian, 
finding that he could not, threw his lariat at him, striking him on 
the back of the head, at the same time tumbling into the gully. 
By this time the two young men in the river had reached the 
opposite bank and were hidden behind the trees ; and, finding that 
John had safely crossed the gully, they cried out to him, "Run, John, 
run !" and John ran and safely reached the house. 

While this was transpiring. Miss Lybrook, who was standing 
in the rear end of the canoe, was pushing the same to the shore, 
when an Indian, who was hidden in the weeds on the bank of the 
river, came to the water's edge, and reached out as the canoe reached 
the bank and pulled the front end of it to the bank, and, stepping 
therein, with his war club began striking the little children over 
their heads and taking their scalps. The rear end of the canoe 
being down stream and having floated near to the bank. Miss 
Lybrook sprang out and started for the house, the Indian pursuing 
her. Her cries brought to her assistance a large dog, which seized 
the Indian and finally threw him. but the Indian succeeded in 
getting to his feet and striking the dog with his club, but in the 
meantime the young lady made her escape. While a part of the 


Indians were on the bank of the river shooting at the young men in 
the river, capturing the boys and killing the children, a part of them 
had gone to the house. One shot Mr. Lybrook, breaking his arm; 
and Mr. McGriff shot and mortally wounded one of the Indians, 
whose remains were years afterwards found under a cliff of rocks 
not far from the scene of the tragedy. Three of the little boys, 
Theophilus Snidow, Thomas McGrif and Jacob Snidow, were cap- 
tured by the Indians and carried away by them, and, after traveling 
with them a day or two, they formed a plan of escape, and that 
was to slip away at night. They reached Pipestem Knob, now in 
Summers County, and there camped for the night. During the 
night, and after all things were quiet, two of the boys, Thomas 
McGriff and Jacob Snidow, slipped away from the camp, not being 
able to rouse the third boy without waking the Indians, and thus 
they were compelled to go away without him. After they had gone 
a few hundred yards from the camp, knowing they would be 
pursued, they crawled into a hollow log. In a few minutes after, 
the Indians discovering their absence, raised an alarm and went 
in search of the runaways, and even stood on the log in which the 
boys were hid, and in broken English called, "Come back. Get lost." 
Not being able to find the boys, they gave up the hunt and returned 
to camp. So soon as everything was quiet, the boys came out of 
their hiding-place, struck through the woods, and came to Crump's 
Bottoms on New River, where they were afterwards found by some 
of the scouts from the settlement, and who were in pursuit of 
the Indians. 

In this attack Philip Lybrook was wounded, three of his chil- 
dren and a young woman by the name of Scott, two of the children, 
small girls, of Mrs. Snidow's, were killed, and three boys captured. 
The two young men who were in the river when the attack began, 
and who had reached the farther bank, ran across the ridge to the 
Gunpowder Spring, Harman's Fort, and halloed across the river 
at the people in the fort to bring a canoe and take them over, but 
the people, being afraid they were Indians, refused to go. After 
waiting for some time, the young men being afraid of pursuit by 
the Indians, plunged into the river, and a young woman, seeing 
this, insisted that they were white men, and ran to the river, jumped 
into a canoe, and pushed into the river to meet the swimmers. She 
was just in time to save one of them from sinking the third time, 
and who, no doubt, had taken the cramp by reason of the exertion 
and overheating in his run over the ridges. She carried them safely 
to the fort. There were six Indians in this raid. They were pur- 


sued by Capt. Clendennin, but never overtaken. Mrs. Rebecca 
Pack, now of Burden, Kansas, and the widow of Anderson Pack 
of this county, is a descendant of these Snidows, and there are 
numerous other descendants in Giles and other counties. Theoph- 
ilus Snidow, the other captive, was carried down New River, across 
the Ohio, and, after he had grown to manhood, returned to his 
people. This Mrs. Snidow was a widow, her husband having died 
suddenly while emigrating to the Upper New River country. 

The Clover Bottoms, on Bluestone River in Mercer County, 
near the Summers line, was granted by Lord Dunsmore on the 
5th day of April, 1774, to Mitchell Clay, assignee of John Draper. 
There are many of his descendants now in Wyoming and Raleigh, 
and recently two of the Clay families of Wyoming purchased the 
Maddy lands on Lick Creek and removed into that community 
near Green Sulphur Springs. This tract was then and is still known 
as Clover Bottoms, and was owned for many years by Benjamin 
Peck, the father of Messrs. C. L. Peck, Pembroke P. Peck and 
E. H. Peck, of this county, and was inherited by them. The grantee 
was required to take possession within three years from its date. 
Mitchell Clay was a native of Franklin County, Virginia, and he 
gave John Draper a negro woman and her children for the land, 
which is very fertile and valuable. The land warrant or script to 
Draper for this land was for services by him in the French and 
Indian War. Mitchell Clay settled in this bottom in 1775. This 
was the second white settler in Mercer County territory and the 
first in its present territory. The settlement on Culbertson's Bot- 
toms (now Crump's) having been made by Andrew Culbertson 
twenty-seven years before, so the first settlement in Mercer County 
by white men was in territory now a part of Summers. 

Clay was not molested by the Indians on "Clover Bottoms" 
for eight years, but was finally attacked by them and a part of 
his family killed. 


If a person unlawfully kill a hog or steal one not his own, he 
should pay a fine of 1,000 pounds of tobacco; and, if unable to do 
so, he was required to work one year for the informer and one year 
for the owner of the property. No person could get married except 
by a minister of England, and then on a license from the governor. 
Any minister doing so was fined 10,000 pounds of tobacco. 

All persons keeping tippling houses without a license were 


fined 2,000 pounds of tobacco, one-half to go to the informer and the 
other to the county. 

The court in every county shall cause to be set up a pillory, 
a pair of stocks, a whipping post and a ducking stool in a conve- 
nient place, and, if not done, the court was fined 5,000 pounds of 

In actions for slander occasioned by the wife, after judgment 
for damages, the woman shall be punished by ducking, and an 
additional ducking for every 500 pounds of tobacco fine imposed 
against her husband if he refused to pay. 

The Lord's Day was to be kept holy, and no journey made on 
that day unless necessary, and everybody who were inhabitants 
were required to attend church at some parish church or chapel, 
and then abide orderly during preaching, or be fined fifty pounds of 
tobacco. Every Quaker who congregated in unlawful places was 
liable to a fine of 200 pounds of tobacco for every such meeting. 

All preachers of the Church of England officiating and six of 
his family were exempt from taxes. 

If any Quakers over sixteen years of age assemble, five in 
number, for the pretense of joining in a religious worship, were 
liable to a fine of 200 pounds of tobacco for each offense. 

Any master of a ship who shall bring into the colony any 
Quaker to reside hereafter, 1st July, 1663, shall be fined 5,000 pounds 
of tobacco, and every person inhabiting the country v/ho shall en- 
tertain in or near his house a Quaker to teach or preach, shall be 
fined 5,000 pounds of tobacco. 

If any person be found laboring, drinking, gaming or working 
on the 27th day of August, upon presentment by the church warden, 
shall be fined 100 pounds of tobacco, one-half to the informer and 
one-half to the parish. 

None but freeholders or housekeepers shall have any voice in 
the election of burgesses, and every county not sending two bur- 
gesses to the General Assembly shall be fined 10,000 pounds of 
tobacco, for the use of the public. 

Every member of the House of Burgesses shall be allowed 150 
pounds of tobacco for each day, beginning two days before each 
Assembly, and continuing for two days after; and for traveling 
expenses, those that come by land, ten pounds of tobacco for each 
day for each horse used and for water transportation proportion- 

1679. For hog stealing, first offense, according to former laws ; 
for the second offense the offender shall stand two hours in the 


jMllory and lose his ears ; and for the third offense he shall be triea 
by the laws of England for a felony. 

1680. No licensed attorney shall demand or receive for bring- 
ing any cause to judgment in the general court more than fifty 
pounds of tobacco and cask; and in the county court, 150 pounds of 
tobacco and cask, which fees are allowed without any prejudgment. 

If any attorney shall refuse to plead any cause in respective 
courts aforesaid, for the aforesaid fees, he shall forfeit as much as 
his fees should have been. 

Every person who failed to have his child baptized by a lawful 
minister was liable to a fine of 2,000 pounds of tobacco, one-half to 
go to the parish and the other to the informer. 

These laws and many similar ones once applied to our terri- 
tory, but before it was settled by the white man. 

In 1621 "sixty young and handsome maidens" were sent to 
Virginia, each wifh a recommendation and testimonial. They 
were to be purchased by an equal number of the boys who were 
sent to become apprentices. It was stipulated that these maidens 
should be married with their own consent, and to such free men 
only as could support them. It was also stipulated that they were 
to be well used, and they were forbidden from marrying servants. 
The land owners granted to those who subscribed to the costs of 
shipping the maidens and boys a rateable proportion of land, all to 
be laid off together and form a town to be called Maidtown. The 
price of the wives was fixed at 100 pounds of tobacco, and after- 
wards advanced to 150 pounds, and proportionately more if any 
of them should happen to die in the passage to \'irginia. A debtor 
for a wife was of higher dignity than other debtors, and would be 
paid first. As an inducement to marriage, married men were pre- 
ferred in the selection of officers for the colony. Contentment 
followed this introduction of wives into Virginia, and soon there- 
after whole families, including wives, daughters and sons, came, 
and the necessity for shipping maids no longer existed, and the 
seeker for a wife no longer lugged his tobacco crop to the matri- 
monial market, but, instead, resorted to the customs of his fore- 
fathers, and which followed with our forefathers across the moun- 
tains, who planned a siege of the old-fashioned courtship in the 
old-fashioned manner to win his partner for life. 

In the pioneer days of this region, when any of the forefathers 
married, the marriage ceremony was followed by the wedding 
dinner and then dancing, which consisted of the four-handed reel, 
square sets and jigs. The commencement was always a "square 


four," followed by what was called "jigging it off"; that is, two 
or four would single out for a jig, followed by the remaining 
couples. Among the old-time tunes were "Little Breeches," "Will 
You Come Out To-night?" "The Devil's Dream," "Mississippi 
Sawyer," Arkansas Traveler" and "Clear the Track." These after- 
marriage dances always brought out big crowds. As soon as the 
wedding was over, a house was built for the newly married couple 
on the lands of either the bride's or bridegroom's parents, and when 
it was ready for occupancy, the friends and neighbors who as- 
sisted in its building were invited to what was called the "house 
warming," consisting of a dinner and dances. 

The seat of government for all this region was Jamestown in 
1607 until 1698, after which it was removed to Williamsburg. 
When the town of Jamestown was settled, the only other places 
in the United States settled by white people were St. Augustine, 
Florida, and Santa Fe, New Mexico, settled in 1582. St. Augustine 
was founded in 1655. 

We are within the territory where the white man first exercised 
the right of suffrage in the new world, and where a trial by jury was 
first granted. 

The first free school on this continent was started within the 
same territory, and our territory is within the domain which has 
produced more illustrious men of America than any other within 
the nation. 

At one time and at the opening of the seventeenth century, our 
territory was in the country governed under conditions existing to 
a large extent in ancient Europe. Women were dragged about in 
public or ducked in ponds or rivers because they scolded ; men 
were imprisoned for debts which they could not pay, or condemned 
to death for their refusal or neglect to profess a religion in which 
they did not believe. Hell's fire was constantly kept in the mind's 
view of young and old, while the pure love of God and of man 
were trampled into the mire by superstitious teachers and preach- 
ers. Insane men were believed to be possessed of devils, and were 
chained to the floor in the garrets. Stocks for punishment were in 
evidence wherever courts of law were held, and men were nailed 
to these instruments of torture within the public gaze to add to 
their punishment by becoming the laughing stock of the people. 
Men's ears were cropped from their heads, thereby fastening upon 
them marks of disgrace which they carried with them to their 
graves. Such punishments were inflicted for alleged offenses 
which at the present day are so trivial that no provision of law is 
deemed necessary for their prevention. 



The first Declaration of Independence proclaimed in America 
was on the 20th of January, 1775, by the representatives of Fin- 
castle County, of which Summers territory, a part, if not all, is a 
part. It was eighteen months prior to the famous Declaration of July 
4, 1776, and it is full pf the independence then breathed throughout 
the country, and we give the declaration of the Fincastle men in 
full. While it breathes the spirit of independence, it is respectful, 
without supplication in its terms. 

"In obedience to the resolves of the Continental Congress, a 
meeting of the freeholders of Fincastle County in Virginia was 
held on the 20th day of January, 1775, and who, after approving 
the association formed by that august body in behalf of all the 
colonies, and subscribing thereto, proceeds to the election of a 
committee to see the same carried punctually into execution, when 
the following men were nominated : 

"Rev. Charles Cummings, Col. Wm. Preston, Col. Wm. Chris- 
tian, Steven Trigg, Major Arthur Campbell. Major Wm. Ingles, 
Captain Walter Crockett, Capt. John Montgomery, Capt. James 
McGavoch, Capt. William Campbell, Capt. Thomas Madison, Capt. 
Evan Shelby and Lieutenant William Edmondson. Colonel Wil- 
liam Christian was made chairman, and David Campbell, clerk. 

"Their declaration is as follows : 

"To the Honorable Peyton Randolph, Esquire, Richard Henry 
Lee, George Washington, Patrick Henry, Junior, Richard Bland, 
Benjamin Harrison and Edmund Pendleton, Esquires, the delegates 
from this colony who attended the Continental Congress had at 
Philadelphia. Gentlemen : Had it not been for our remote situ- 
ation and the Indian War which we were engaged in to chastise 
these cruel and savage people for the many murders and depreda- 
tions they have committed amongst us, now happily terminated 
under the auspices of our present worthy Governor, His Excellency, 
The Right Honorable Earl Dunmore, we should before this time 
have made known to you our thankfulness for the very important 
services you have rendered to our country in conjunction with the 
worthy delegates from other provinces. Your noble efforts for 
reconciling the mother country and colonies on rational and con- 
stitutional principles and your pacific, steady and uniform conduct 
in that arduous work immortalize you in the annals of your country. 
We heartily concur in your resolutions, and shall in every instance 
strictly and invariably adhere thereto. 


"We assure you, gentlemen, and all our countrymen, that we 
are a people whose hearts overflow with love and duty to our 
lawful sovereign, George the Third, whose illustrious house for 
several successive reigns has been the guardian of the civil and 
religious rights and liberties of British subjects as settled at the 
glorious Revolution ; that we are willing to risk our lives in the 
service of His Majesty for the support of the Protestant religion 
and the rights and liberties of his subjects as they have been estab- 
lished by the compact law and ancient charters. We are heartily 
disturbed at the differences which now subsist between the parent 
state and the colonies, and most urgently wish to see harmony 
restored on an equitable basis and by the most lenient measures 
that can be devised by the heart of man. Many of us and our fore- 
fathers left our native land, considering it as a kingdom subjected 
to inordinate power. We crossed the Atlantic and explored this 
then wilderness, and surrounded by mountains almost inaccessible 
to any but those various savages who have insistently been com- 
mitting depredations on us since our first settling in the country. 
These fatigues and dangers were patiently endured, supported by 
the pleasing hope of enjoying these rights and liberties which had 
been granted to Virginians and denied us in our native country, 
and of transmitting them inviolate to our posterity; but even to 
this remote region the hand of enmity and unconstitutional power 
hath preceded us to strip us of that liberty and property with which 
God, nature and the rights of humanity have visited us. We are 
ready and willing to contribute all in our power for His Majesty's 
government if applied considerately and when grants are made by 
our own representatives, but can not think of submitting our liberty 
or property to the power of a venal British Government or the will 
of a greedy ministry. We by no means desire to shake off our 
duty or allegiance to our lawful sovereign, but, on the contrary, 
shall ever glory in being the loyal subjects of the Protestant prince 
descended from such illustrious progenitors, so long as we can 
enjoy the free exercise of our religion as Protestants and our lib- 
erties and properties as British subjects; but no pacific measures 
shall 'be proposed or adopted by Great Britain, and our enemies 
will attempt to dragoon us out of these inestimable privileges which 
we are entitled to as subjects and to reduce us to a state of slavery; 
we declare that we are deliberately determined never to surrender 
them to any power upon earth but at the expense of our lives. 

"These are real, though unpolished, sentiments of liberty, and in 
them we are resolved to live or die. 


"We are, gentlemen, with the most perfect esteem and regard, 
your most obedient servants." (See American Archives, 1st Vol., 
page 166, 4th Series. Johnston's New River Settlements). 

The territory of Summers County, then Fincastle County, was 
represented in the convention which formed and adopted the first 
Republican Constitution ever adopted in America, which assembled 
in Williamsburg, Va., in 1775. Arthur Campbell and William Rus- 
sell were the representatives. The delegate from Fincastle County 
in 1776, when it was abolished, was Col. Wm. Christian. 

There were then sparse settlements in our territory, then in- 
cluded in Fincastle County ; among them the Grahams, Kellers, 
Ferrells, Slaters, Culbertsons, Cooks, Farleys and Gwinns 
located in this section. In October, 1776, the county of Fincastle, 
like Poland, was parceled out into three counties, and it ceased to 
exist, and out of its territory Washington, Kentucky and Mont- 
gomery Counties were created, and a portion of the territory of 
this county came within the jurisdiction of Montgomery. 

The representatives from Fincastle County who met at the Wil- 
liamsburg Convention, which adopted the first Republican Con- 
stitution, were Arthur Campbell and A\'illiani Russell. 

Fincastle County was named for one of the castles of the Royal 
Governor, Lord Dunmore, "Finn Castle," and the distaste among 
the colonies for Dunmore had become so great and just that the 
name was eliminated from the political divisions. Dunmore County 
was, also, for a like cause, abolished, and the name changed to 

The outrages by the Indians about 1777 were very numerous 
against the white settlers in all this section of the country, and the 
people were obliged to gather into the forts, where they were com- 
pelled to remain during the whole of the summer. From Barger's 
Fort on the upper New River on Tom's Creek, to Fort Donnally 
and Union in the Greenbrier country, the men, women and children 
fled to the forts. Fields on Crump's Bottoms and Cook's on Indian 
Creek, were filled with the settlers in that region, as was the fort 
below Alderson. Scouts under Capt. John Lucas penetrated the 
region round about Cook's and Field's, on Crump's Bottoms and 
Indian Creek, as well as Farley's Fort, five miles below Fields at 
the lower end of the bottom. 

We give some account of the attack of the Indians on Fort 
Donnally, ten miles west of Lewisburg towards the Muddy Creek 
country, as it was in the region of a part of our territory for many 


years, and was under the jurisdiction of Greenbrier County after 
its formation in 1777. 

Two scouts informed the settlements of the danger apprehended 
from a band of marauding Indians from west of the Ohio, who 
advanced up the Kanawha, across the War Ridge and into the 
Greenbrier country. 

After being advised by the scouts the settlers gathered into the 
fort, consisting of twenty men. Capt. Donnally sent a messenger 
to F'ort Union to Col. John Stuart, advising him of the advance of 
the Indians (Injuns). The best arrangements possible to resist 
an attack were made, and the attack began the next morning early. 
Col. Stuart had sent Col. Sam Lewis with sixty men to the relief 
of Donnally, and they entered the fort without damage. Four 
whites were killed in this attack — Pritcher, James Burns, Alex. 
Ochiltree and James Graham, who was killed in the fort, the other 
three being killed outside. The Grahams of Summers County are 
direct kin of this Indian fighter. Seventeen of the Indians were 
killed in the yard outside of the fort, who remained lying on the 
ground. Other slain Indians were carried off by the survivors. 
There were engaged in this fight more than two hundred Indians, 
and in all eighty-seven whites. The Indians, failing, retreated. 
During the Indian attack on Donnally's Fort a number of men 
gathered in at Jarrett's Fort on Wolf Creek and Keeney's Fort, 
a number of whom were members of Captain Joseph Renfrew's 
company who were from Bedford County, Virginia, and among 
them was Josiah Meadows, the ancestor of A. G. Meadows, assis- 
tant postmaster at Hinton, and James E. Meadows, present mayor 
of Avis, and of J. M. Meador, clerk of the County Court of Summers 
County. Josiah Meadows applied for a pension to the County 
Court of Giles County in 1832. In his application he gives a full 
account of his Indian warfare. This Josiah Meadows was a great- 
grandfather of Hon. I. G. Meador, of Athens, Mercer County, West 
Virginia. He was with the expedition of George Rogers Qark into 
the Illinois country in 1778. 

Mrs. Margaret Pauley, with her husband, John Pauley, and James 
Pauley, wife and child; Robert Wallace and wife, and Brice Miller, 
on September 23, 1779, set out from the Greenbrier region to go to 
Kentucky. They crossed New River at the horse ford near the 
mouth of Rich Creek, then went down New River by the nearest 
route to Cumberland Gap. Each man in the party was armed with 
a rifle. The women were on horseback, on which they carried all 
their household plunder. They were in front and the men in the 


rear, driving the cattle. About noon, after they had arrived at a 
point on East River one mile below the mouth of Five Mile Fork, 
they were attacked by five Indians and a white man by the name 
of Morgan. The women were knocked from their horses by the 
Indians with their clubs; Wallace and his two children killed and 
scalped. John Pauley was fatally wounded, but escaped to Wood's 
Fort on Rich Creek, where he shortly afterwards died. Mrs. James 
and John Pauley were taken prisoners and carried to the Indian 
town on the Miami River, where they remained prisoners for two 
years. Shortly after they arrived Margaret Pauley gave birth to a 
son. Mrs. James Pauley made her escape and Margaret and her 
child were ransomed. Margaret Pauley's name was Handley. After 
she returned she married a man by the name of Erskine, and by 
whom she had a daughter who married Hugh Caperton, who was 
a distinguished gentleman and who was the father of Allen T. 
Caperton, of Monroe County, the United States Senator from West 
Virginia at the date of his death. Adam Caperton, the father of 
Hugh Caperton, was killed at Mt. Sterling, Kentucky, by the In- 
dians at the battle of Little Mountain. Samuel Richmond, who lived 
at New River Falls, married Sallie Caperton, a descendant of Adam 
Caperton. A full account of this killing of Pauley and capture 
was dictated by Margaret Pauley many years afterwards to Senator 
Allen T. Caperton, and the full history as so written will be found 
in Lewis' History of West Virginia. 

Capt. Hugh Caperton, the father of Sallie Richmond, lived on 
New River, and was an uncle of Hugh Caperton, of Monroe County. 
Capt. Caperton was ordered to form a company of men from the 
New River Company to fight the Indian marauders and prowling 
bands who were active in the country in 1793. He marched and 
camped at the mouth of Elk. Overton Caperton resided at the 
mouth of Island Creek in Summers County, where he owned a 
valuable farm. He fell in a deep culvert on the C. & O. Railroad 
and killed himself, a few years ago, between Avis and Hinton. 
He left a son, Adam, who resides now in Mercer County. Another 
descendant of Capt. Hugh Caperton is Allen Caperton, of Princeton, 
having been postmaster of that town, and is a prominent capitalist. 
Daniel Boone was the "commissary" of that company referred to 
of Capt. Hugh Caperton, and there were but few settlers in the 
Kanawha — among them Leonard Morriss — whose descendants still 
live in that valley. Leonard Morriss, a descendant, is an aged man, 
now eighty-seven years old, but strong mentally. He remembers 
seeing the Indians passing up the valley on their way to see the 


President. He tells many interesting incidents to the writer, of 
these aborigines. He says they still carried the bow and arrow, 
but that their arrows had no stone points. He visited Barger's 
Springs in 1907, 

Some of the men who belonged to this company of Caperton's 
Indian fighters, whose descendants live in this region, are : Edward 
1-^arley, John Cook, William Graham, Francis Farley, Drewry Far- 
ley, John Barton, Thomas Cook, Mathew Farley, David Johnston, 
James Stuart, James Abbott, Joseph Abbott, Moses Massey, James 
Graham, David Graham, James Sweeney and Isaiah Calloway. 
This company was disbanded after General Wayne's victory at 
Fallen Timbers. 

The Christian family came from the Isle of Man, settling in 
Pennsylvania, where they lived in 1726, whence Gilbert Christian 
came to where Staunton now stands. He had a family of three 
sons, John, Robert and William, and one daughter, Mary. Capt. 
Israel Christian settled in the valley, and removed into the territory 
of Botetourt County in 1740 at Fincastle. He gave the site for that 
town. Later he crossed the Allegheny Mountains and settled on 
New River at Ingle's Ferry. Christiansburg was named for him. 
Colonel William Christian was his son, and married a sister of 
Patrick Henry — Anne. He was a prominent man and was once a 
member of the State Senate of Virginia in 1781, and commanded a 
regiment at the Battle of Point Pleasant in 1774. He was killed 
while fighting the Indians in Ohio in 1786 at Jeffersonville, 
in Indiana. Joseph J. Christian, of the upper end of this county, 
is a direct descendant of Col. Israel Christian. 





In regard to the inhabitants of this territory immediately pre- 
ceding the EngHsh settlers, we are unable to get any definite 
information as to what particular tribes resided here, or whether 
there were any regular inhabitants of these mountain regions at all 
we do not know; but there is plenty of information on the subject, 
especially of a circumstantial character, showing that this region 
had been inhabited. When I say regular inhabitants, I mean 
whether or not there were any villages of encampments of Indians, 
or whether they ever cultivated any of the soil in what is the ter- 
ritory of the county. Of course, they hunted over these mountains, 
fished in our streams, traveled through our valleys and territories. 
The so-called Indian Mounds and Indian relics in the shape of 
arrow points, spear points, stone hammers, axes, tomahawks, pot- 
tery, etc., were found in abundance along the rivers and in the 
mountains of this region, were not. in the opinion of scientists, 
made by the Indians. There is positive evidence to show that the 
first inhabitants of the Mississippi Valley and of the Apalachian 
region and the Atlantic Coast came from the south. They may have 
crossed the Continent of Atlantis, which once existed where the 
Atlantic Ocean now is, from Southern Europe, and Southern Asia 
to South America and Mexico, and from thence into the Mississippi 
Valley and the mountains on either side. The Incas of Peru, the 
Aztecs and Toltecs of Mexico, the Mound Builders of the Missis- 
sippi Valley had many similar customs and left somewhat similar 
remains. They were all descendants of these people who came from 
Southern Asia, perhaps in the time of Abraham. The modern 
Indians probably came from Northern Asia and crossed Behring 
Strait. Those who wandered towards the North became small in 
stature and acquired the characters of the modern Esquimo. Those 
who came farther north probably drove out the Mound Builder 
after much fighting, and took possession of the country. The 
Mound Builders went south, and, possibly, the Zuni Indians of 
to-day are their degenerate descendants. 


The jMound Builders had no iron instruments nor any sub- 
stitute, and could not contend against the growth of timber 
the country was completely covered with. They, possibly cul- 
tivated the soil. The more substantial theory, in my opinion, is 
that the ]\Iound Builders were driven out after a desperate fight 
with the Indians, who, like the Goths and the Vandals of Europe, 
descended on the Roman people. This is the opinion of Dr. G. D. 
Lind, of New Richmond, in this county, a learned physician, and 
who has given these subjects very intelligent study, and to whom 
I am indebted for an opinion. There are no mounds or evidence 
of monuments built by the Mound Builders in the territory of this 
county. \A'e have, however, numerous small mounds, known as 
Indian graves, scattered throughout the county in the valleys ; and, 
while there were no Indian settlements within the territory between 
the Allegheny !vIountains and the Ohio when the country was first 
visited by civilized man, there are ample evidences at this day of 
the territory of this country having at an earl}- day been inhabited 
by the Indian savages in considerable numbers, but we doubt if 
the Indians ever used the flints or arrow heads. People who re- 
member seeing them with their bows and arrows say they did not 
have such heads to their arrows, but that the arrow was one piece 
of wood. The Hurons are supposed by some to have possessed 
this territory, but the white man did not dispossess this region of 
/the Indians. It had been depopulated of Indian settlements before 
the white man entered. 

The true, very ancient history of this land has never been writ- 
ten ; and, if it is ever done, it will be from geological research, and 
not from ordinary historical sources. It is more ancient than any 
historical records that exist of any times. 

This territory was probably first inhabited by the Alound Build- 
ers, then b}' the Indians, one tribe after another, and then by the 
Europeans, following the Jamestown Settlement by Capt. John 
Smith in 1607. 

The Indians are a remarkable race of people. Their contrasts 
of character and the make-up of their mental characteristics are 
unfathomable — sometimes very rare and exceptional. You read 
of one of these savage people with human sympathy and instincts, 
but in the great and preponderating number of cases they have the 
savage character and characteristics. This seems to have been 
intensified as time passed after the first intermingling between 
them and the white races of Europe. 

Immediately after the discovery of America, we read that in 


the early associations there were many examples of humanity and 
of human kindness emanating from a human brain. A disposition 
to return kindness for kindness, as do some of the domestic animals, 
but the avariciousness of the first discoverers and explorers of the 
American continent, especially of the Spaniards, even though under 
the guise of the Christian spirit ; but with treachery so instilled into 
the minds of the Indian savage an internal hatred, it grew and hard- 
ened and expanded as the generations passed ; and, as generation 
after generation followed, their cruelty was instilled into and became 
a part of their nature, one of inheritance. To hate the white race, 
from whence or where he came, or for whatever his purpose might 
be, so that from the first generation to the present there has been 
no relaxation in the disposition of the race to inflict on all the 
whites all of the barbarities to be imagined by human ingenuity; 
and when we now read of and learn by tradition and history of the , 
brutal savagery of these treacherous inhabitants who occupied all 
of this country, we may well believe the hardships endured by the 
original and pioneer settlers of all this region from an ever-present 
savage foe, hating and despising all progress advanced by the 
whites with whom they came in contact. It matters not how gen- 
erous the disposition of the exceptional white may have been — 
whether his advancements into the wilderness into the West were 
for civilization or Christian purposes — the Indian knew no mercy, 
pity, magnanimity. They were words unknown in his nature, and 
the doctrines of mercy, pity, magnanimity and Christian forbear- 
ance became unknown entirely to the Indian character. This, no 
doubt, grew largely from the action and brutal treatment in many 
instances of the white adventurer, whose only object was to secure 
pecunfary advantage; so that, as time passed, the natures of both 
races, the white and the red, became actions of retaliation, so that 
the white settler, like Jim Wiley, who could cut a razor strap out 
of the hide of an Indian with as little qualms as out of the hide 
of an ox. 

The Spanish robbed and slaughtered them 1\v the sword ; the 
English robbed and murdered them under the guise of a pretense 
at commercialism, trading with them, dealing for their furs, and 
throwing in civilization, Christianity and whiskey; the French 
seemed to have been more generous in their treatment with the 
Indians than any other white European race, and for that reason 
their diplomatic relations with them were more friendly, and they 
received more results and benefits from the coalitions than any 
other nation undertaking to colonize or civilize the continent. 


The Indians had no written laws. Their customs were handed 
down from generation to generation and from age to age by the 
old men, and had all the force of well-defined and positive statutes, 
more so than the "common law." The aborigines of this country 
enjoyed absolute freedom. Their sachems made their own tools 
for war and husbandry. They worked the grounds in common 
with other tribes. They entered into no great war or scheme with- 
out the consent of the whole people or movement of a public nature. 
If their council declared in favor of war, their warriors declared 
their approbation by painting themselves with various colors, rend- 
ering themselves horrid in the extreme to their enemies. In this 
shape they would rush furiously into the council and begin the 
war dance, accompanying their steps with fierce gestures expres- 
sive of their thirst for vengeance, and describing the manner in 
which they would wound, kill and scalp their victims ; after which 
they would sing their own glories, exploit the glories of their an- 
cestors and of the nation in the ancient times. Their festivals 
consisted of dancing around in a circle of curved posts or a fire 
built in a convenient part of the town, each having his rattle in his 
hand, or his bow and arrow or tomahawk. They dressed themselves 
in branches of trees or other strange accoutrement. They had no 
idea of distinct or exclusive property. Every man could cultivate 
and abandon whatever land he pleased. They reckoned their years 
by the coming and going of the wild geese — "cohunks" they called 
them — a noise made by these birds. This coming was once a year. 
They distinguished the parts of the year by five seasons, viz. : 
The budding or blossoming of the spring; the earing of the corn, 
or roasting-ear time ; the summer, or high sun ; the corn gathering, 
or fall of the leaf; and the winter, or the "cohunks." They counted 
the months by the moons, though not with so many in the year 
as we do, but they made them return again as the Corn Moon, the 
First and the Second Moon of Cohunks. They had no distinctions 
of the hour of the day, but divided them into three parts — the rise, 
power and lowering of the sun. They kept their accounts by 
knots on strings, or notches on sticks. 

They were grossly superstitious and idolatrous. He was the 
most improvident animal existing; his present necessities satisfied, 
and he was happy. He wasted no thought on the morrow. 

A man could have as many wives as he could support. He 
could abandon one and seek another when he pleased, and the 
wife could do the same, except she could have but one husband at 
a time, and she could not marry for a year after separation. 



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Courtship, like marriage, was short. If the s(|uaw accepted the 
presents of the man, it was understood she agreed ; and, without 
further ceremony, she went and joined him in his hut, not even 
notifying her people. The principles which were to regulate their 
future conduct were well understood. He was to assume the more 
laborious labor- — fighting the enemies of his tribe, hunting, fishing, 
felling the trees and building the hut. She looked after raising 
the children, providing food and domestic duties. It was her duty 
to plant the corn and do all the agricultural work, as well as trans- 
port on her back the children (papooses), but the labor of agricul- 
ture was trifling. In the event of separation, the children all be- 
longed to the women. The warrior was considered a visitor, and, if 
any differences arose, the warrior picked up his gun and walked 
off, and that ended it. This separation entailed no quarrel or 
disgrace. They acted according to the dictates of nature and the 
customs of their country. Every object inspired happiness and 
content, and their only care was to crowd as much pleasure as 
possible into a short life. They were a rawboned, muscular, red- 
skinned people, with high cheek bones ; with a bow and arrow for 
their weapons until the whites introduced firearms. 

The territory of which Summers County is included was origi- 
nally a howling wilderness, inhabited, no doubt, by the ancient 
Indian tribes, and there are many evidences yet remaining in some 
parts of the county of the habitations of these people. After the 
Mound Builders the county was inhabited by Indians, supposed 
to be a tribe, a section, or part of the powerful confederacy known 
as the Six Nations. There are yet remaining in different localities 
many evidences of the ancient habitations — flints, arrow-heads, 
.stone tomahawks and other stone implements are found scattered 
on and under the surface, and are plowed u]) from beneath the 
surface in the cultivation of the soil. 

At the time West Virginia first became known to civilized 
people there were no Indian settlements of any importance within 
its territory which were in actual possession by any tribe or nation 
of Indians, but there is evidence everywhere that Indians in great 
numbers had occupied this territory. 

Two years ago I was presented with a stone pipe, all of one 
solid piece, nicely finished, the bowl nicely hollowed out, with the 
stem about three inches long, by J. Frank Smith, who had found 
the same m his explorations for mineral on Suck Creek, a tributary 
of Little Blue Stone River in Jumping Branch District, evidently 
of very ancient make, but complete in all its parts. Mr. Allen 


Bragg, several years ago, presented us with a piece of ancient clay 
utensil of some character impossible to determine, but very nicely 
tinished, either a part of an ornament, or of some useful utensil, 
being of oval and pointed shape at the top, or in the shape of a 
half-crown with pointed top. 

Some four or five years ago an extraordinary flood of New 
River occurred. The river banks were overflowed west of the 
Warford in New River, and along "Barker's Bottom," and many 
evidences of ancient habitations were washed up from the earth, 
including skulls, stone implements, human bones, etc. One im- 
plement of a peculiar make, made from very hard stone an inch and 
a half thick, perfectly finished, as large as the hollow of a man's 
hand, was presented to the writer, and of which I now have pos- 
session. But there is no tradition of Indian or other habitation in 
this region since the early settlements east of the Allegheny 

There is authentic history of Indian excursions through the 
territory of the county, and there were three great war trails of 
the Indians, which were followed by them in their excursions 
from west of the Ohio River into AVestern Virginia, after the 
Indians had been forced west of that stream. One was up the 
Great Kanawha River, across the Sewell Mountain, up Lick Creek, 
and across the Keeney's Knob, down Grififith's Creek to Greenbrier 
River, near where the town of Alderson is now located. Another 
trail was up the Big Sandy River, down Bluestone; thence across 
to East River and down Bluestone up New River and Indian Creek 
and through Monroe County. The third was up the Little Kana- 
wha River. 


The last Indian excursion of which I have any information 
through this territory was of a party of Indians from west of the 
Ohio, who proceeded into the Greenbrier country, attacking Capt. 
McClung and his settlement on Muddy Creek ; thence passing over 
the Keeney's Knob, after having captured a Mrs. Clendennin. The 
prisoners were all taken over to Muddy Creek, and a number of 
the Indians retained them there until the return of the others from 
Carr's Creek. On the day they started from the foot of Keeney's 
Knob, going over the mountain, Mrs. Clendennin gave her infant 
child to a prisoner woman to carry, as the prisoners were in the 


center of the line and the Indians in the front and rear, she escaped 
into a thicket and concealed herself until they passed by. The 
cries of the child soon caused the Indians to inquire for the mother, 
who was missing, and one of them said he "would soon bring the 
cow to her calf," and, taking the child by the heels, he beat its 
brains out against a tree, and, throwing the body down into the 
path, all marched over it until its entrails were trampled out by 
the horses. 

She returned that night in the dark to her house, a distance of 
more than ten miles, and covered her husband's corpse with rails, 
vv^hich lay in the yard where he was killed in endeavoring to escape 
over the fence with one of his children in his arms. This occur- 
rence is taken from the memorandum of Col. John Stuart, of Green- 
brier County, made 1798, who was then clerk of the county, and 
made this memorandum in one of his deed books. The Indian 
warfare at this time resulted in the entire destruction of the set- 
tlers in the Greenbrier Valley and within what is now Greenbrier 
and Summers Counties, which was in the year 1780. 

Their last excursion was into the Greenbrier region in this 
county, in which they killed Thomas Griffith near the mouth of 
Griffith's Creek, which empties into the Greenbrier River about a 
mile west of the town of Alderson, and whose name said creek 
still bears, which was in the year 1780. At the same time they 

captured Griffith, his son, and immediately started for 

the West, pursued by a party of white settlers. The Indians 
camped the first night under a cliff on Lick Creek, about a mile 
from the foot of Keeney's Knob, just by the rear of the side of the 
brick residence erected by Capt. A. A. Miller in 1868, where he 
resided at the time of his death. The pursuing party camped about 
three-cjuarters of a mile east, just below the foot of Keeney's 
Mountain, on. Lick Creek, at the old Curtis Alderson place, about 
half a mile above the place where the writer was born and raised 
(the old Miller place). Griffith had settled at the mouth of Grif- 
fith's Creek, near Greenbrier River, on the John and luios Ellis 
place, and an alarm had been made that the Indians were in the 
neighborhood, there being a fort almost opposite on the Lane Bot- 
toms, but Griffith, being a very brave man, declined to go into 
the fort. There were several Indians and one white man ; they 
watched Griffith's house for some days for their opportunity. When 
the attack was made, Griffith was shot dead, and the Indians rushed 
for his scalp, but his wife, in order to save her husband's scalp. 


turned over a bee gum, and the Indians, being afraid of the bees, 
ran off without the scalp, taking the boy along. The Indians went 
on to where Green Sulphur Springs is now located, and where 
there was then a buffalo lick. They watched the lick until 
they killed a young buffalo, then they tied the boy in the 
pines on the opposite side of the creek, where they left him for two 
days and nights. They then returned, having their shot pouches 
filled with lead and bullets, which they somewhere secured during 
their- absence. Securing their captive, they proceeded to the 
Kanawha River at the Ben Morris place. In the meantime the 
whites in the fort on the Greenbrier in the Griffith neighborhood 
organized a pursuing party composed of ten persons, who proceeded 
to follow the Indians, overtaking them at the Morris farm, where 
they had encamped. All the Indians and the white man had left 
the camp, except two who remained to guard the boy. The pur- 
suers arranged for two of them to shoot at each of the Indians and 
two at the boy, he also being taken at a distance for an Indian. 
Both Indians were shot dead, but neither shot hit the boy, who 
escaped without a scratch. The legs of a deerskin which were 
sticking out by his side were hit, and in this miraculous manner 
he was saved from death. Capt. Ben Morris, who was in command 
of the pursuers, always claimed it was Providence that was instru- 
mental in saving the boy's life, as the men who shot at him were 
ordinarily dead shots. The said Morris told this narrative to 
Jas. H. Miller, Sr., of Gauley Bridge, and it was he that shot at 
the boy, and ordinarily and invariably he could hit a dollar in silver 
at that distance. The Griffith boy returned to his friends. This 
is the last Indian excursion of which we have any historical or 
traditional account of the savages in this county. The night the 
Indians slept under the cliff' on Lick Creek the whites camped a 
half-mile above at the Curtis Alderson place, and returned home 
next day for reinforcements, not knowing of the close proximity 
of the Indians. 

Keeney's Mountain, over which the Indians passed in their 
last raid into the Muddy Creek country, is still known by that 
name, and was named for one of the first settlers within the ter- 
ritory of this county, by the name of David Keeney, who settled 
near the foot of the Greenbrier County side in 1787. 

The Ohio Company, through Christopher Gist, explored a large 
part of what is now West Virginia, and in 1752 Gist sent his petition, 
"Beyond Sea," to His Most Excellent Majesty, the King of Eng- 


land, praying for a grant of the lands he had explored, and for a 
new government in the region between the Allegheny Mountains 
and the Ohio River. The proposed province intended to be or- 
ganized by Gist was to be called "Vandalia," with Samuel Watson 
for Governor, and the capital to be at the mouth of the Great 
Kanawha River at what is now the town of Point Pleasant, in the 
county of Mason. The Revolutionary War was coming on, and 
this prospect was shattered thereby. This territory, surveys and 
explorations evidently included a part, if not all, of Summers 
County, and would have included Summers County. 

In the year 1750 Dr. Thomas Walker, with five companies from 
Virginia, explored into the Kentucky wilderness ; from thence they 
journeyed northward, crossed the Big Sandy River, and on the 28tli 
day of January, 1750, reached the mouth of the Greenbrier River. 
Christopher Gist was an eminent surveyor and explorer from the 
Yadkin in North Carolina, and a friend of Washington's, who was 
with him when he delivered the famous message to the French 
commandant, and had his feet and hands frozen on that exploit. 

In 1742 John Sally, Chas. St. Clair, John Howard and his son, 
Joshua Howard, and others, explored into the southern portion of 
what is now West Virginia. They left their homes at the base of 
the Blue Ridge Mountains, in Augusta County, Virginia, and 
proceeded across the Allegheny Mountains down the Greenbrier 
River to its mouth, reached New River, which they descended to 
Richmond's Falls, a1 what is now New Richmond, ten miles west 
of Hinton on the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad ; thence across 
through Raleigh County to the Coal River, and down same to the 
Great Kanawha, arriving there on May 6, 1742. We are not able 
to ascertain whether the old Greenbrier land grant of 100,000 acres, 
granted about 1751, included any part of Summers County or not, 
but it appears not. 

The first settlement in the state of West Virginia was in 1727. 
by Morgan, a \\^elshman. at Morgan in Berkeley County. The 
Conoys, a tribe or organization of the Delaware Nation, were early 
on New River. A band of Mohicans were at Kanawha Falls in 
1670. The first white man at Kanawha Falls was on the 17th 
day of September, 1671, and was an expedition sent out by Gov- 
ernor Berkeley of Virginia, who was endeavoring to obtain infor- 
mation regarding the vast trans montane region, and in ]CvO issued 
his commission to Major General Wood, "For ye finding out the 
ebbing and flowing of the waters on ye other side of ye mountains." 


General Wood would not personally go on this expedition, but sent 
out a party, consisting of Thomas Batts, Thomas Wood, Robert 
Fallam, Jack Neasam, the latter being a servant of General Wood; 
and Perchute, a chief of the Appomattox Indians, as guide. They 
left Appomattox town, now Petersburg (the Cockade City of Vir- 
ginia), on the first day of September, 1671. On the seventh day 
they were at Blue Ridge; on the 13th on "Swope's Knob," near 
Union in Monroe County, and the next day on the high cliffs which 
crown New River, which flows thirty-five miles through the county ; 
and on the evening of the 16th they reached Kanawha Falls, where 
they had the sight of a stream like the Thames of Chelsea, but had 
a fall that made a great noise, as reported on their return. This 
was 233 years ago. 

The next West Virginia exploration was forty-five years after- 
wards, of which we have no information that it reached this section 
of the country, and was sent out by Governor Spottswood. For 
many years the first settlers were confined to the east- of the 
Allegheny Mountains. 

Governor Spottswood had a descendant in the person of John 
B. Spottswood, who was the editor of a Democratic newspaper at 
Kenton, Newton County, Indiana, until within the last ten years. 
Mr. Spottswood, through his mother, Eliza Schermerhorn, inher- 
ited what has been known as the Schermerhorn tract of land, on 
the headwaters of Lick Creek, Flag Fork, Slater's Creek, Mill 
Creek and Meadow River, being originally a patent or grant from 
the Commonwealth of Virginia of 28,000 acres. This large survey 
was reduced from generation to generation, until there remained 
only about 3.000 acres, it having been forfeited for the non-pay- 
ment of taxes and but little attention paid to it, Mr. Spottswood 
having acquired ownership by inheritance from his mother, who 
was a Spottswood. The land not being considered of value, about 
1881 or 1882 Spottswood sold his entire interest to a Mr. F. E. 
Crosby, who cut the timber therefrom, and then sold it to M. and 
II. Gwinn, who are the present owners. Mr. Spottswood was a 
direct descendant of Governor Spottswood, the colonial governor 
and a very honorable gentleman. This was the Banks Patent which 
descended to a Mrs. Eliza Shermerhorn, whose first husband was 
a direct descendant of the governor, and John B. was her son and 
inherited this land. The tract was divided among the heirs of 
Eliza Schermerhorn, one-half — that in Summers County — going to 
Spottswood, and the other half to the heirs by her last husband, 


Schermerhorn. The Greenbrier half was acquired by James Jar- 
rett and Joseph Stevens at a tax sale. 

The territory of Summers County was once claimed under the 
jurisdiction of the French Dominions, the French claiming all of 
the territory west of the Allegheny Mountains, and the English 
were not for many years aggre'^sive in posting settlements beyond 
the Alleghenies after the destruction of the Greenbrier settlements 
by the Indians, as it was deemed the part of wisdom not to imitate 
them and force them into combinations with the alert and active 
French. Thus discouraged, and without the protection of the 
strong arm of British law and British arms, the settlements beyond 
these mountains were not encouraged, and only the restless and 
hardy adventurer advanced for several years, but about from 1775 
to 1780 the settlers began to come into these regions in greater 
numbers. There was a fort on the first farm below the town of 
Alderson on Greenbrier River, which was captured by the Indians 
about the year 1763, or earlier. The people of this fort were all 
killed or captured, except one small girl, who escaped, but so young 
she could not tell who her people were. She married a gentleman 
in Greenbrier County. This fort was located where the dwelling 
house on said farm was located, and was occupied for many years 
by James Hill. Seventy years ago some of the bounds of the fort 
were clearly indicated, and the shape of the fort by the marks or 
creases or depressions in the ground. This place was visited by 
David Graham about seventy years ago, and he could plainly see the 
shape and position of the fort, as the ground had probably never 
been plowed, there being a grave at the site, nicely preserved. 
This fort was built by digging a trench along the bounds where 
it was to be located, and then split trees, or puncheons were set 
on ends, which made the creases in the ground. I insert a diagram 
of this fort, as shown on the ground in the days of Mr. Graham. 

The fort at Lewisburg was built in 1770, known as Fort Union. 
Donnally's Fort was about eight miles from Fort Union. Barger's 
Fort was on Tom's Creek in the now county of Montgomery. Col. 
Andrew Donnally built Donnally's Fort, and Col. John Stuart built 
Fort Spring, and Capt. Jarrett, whose descendants now live in 
Greenbrier — Hon. Hickman Jarrett being one of them, now living 
at Blue Sulphur Springs — built the fort on Wolf Creek known as 
the Wolf Creek, or Jarrett's Fort. Jarrett's Fort is reported to 
have been on the Greenbrier side of Greenbrier River, and was 
therefore in Summers County at Newman's Ferry. 



These loop corners are where 
the men stood to fire along the 
side of the fort when the In- 
dians were trying to cut down 
the fort or scale it. Four men 
with others to load the guns 
could guard all sides of the fort. 
I remember seeing those loop 

holes. D. Graham. 

Hinton. A^^est \''irg-inia, November 13, 1905. 
Mr. James H. Miller. 

Dear Sir: — Your letter of November 11th to hand and contents 
noted. There was a fort on the first farm below Alderson on the 
Greenbrier River. I have heard my father say it was captured by 
the Indians, likely about 1763, or earlier. The people of the fort 
were all killed or captured, except one small girl, who escaped, 
but so young she couldn't tell who her people were. She married 
a gentleman in Greenbrier County. This house was located where 
the dwelling house of said farm was located. It was occupied for 
a long time by Mr. James Hill. I recollect of being at Mr. Hill's 
about seventy years ago, and was shown some of the bounds of 
the old fort. I don't suppose that the old fort site had at that time 
ever been plowed, as there was a nice grove there at that time. 
There were indications of the shape of the fort by the creases and 
depressions in the ground. Forts in early days were built by dig- 
ging a trench along the l^ounds where the fori? was to be located, 
and then set up split puncheons, and this is why these creases were 
made. I will give a cut of the shape of said fort. The Indians 
killed an old lady by the name of Butler. She was killed on the 
Mathews farm just across Greenbrier from Talcott, West Virginia, 
likely about 1778 or 1779. Two Indians were passing there. That 
was all the mischief they did. Thomas Griffith was killed at the 
mouth of Griffith's Creek in the year 1780. They captured his son, 
and they were followed and the son recaptured on Kanawha River. 


Isaac Ballengee, Evi's grandfather, settled at the Evi Ballengee 
farm about 1780. A man by the name of Brooks settled at Brooks. 
The Fox folks can tell more than I can about that. 



In the spring of 1777 an Indian alarm was given in the settle- 
ment at Lowell on Greenbrier River, where Colonel James Graham 
had founded a settlement, and his plantation was assaulted one 
night before daybreak. Graham, being unwell on this night, had 
lain down on a bench against the door, with his clothes on. The 
Indians made the assault by trying to force the door open, which 
they partially succeeded in doing, thus arousing Graham and his 
men. They placed the heavy bench and a tub of water against the 
door, and in this way prevented the Indians from gaining an en- 
trance. A man by the name of McDonald, who was assisting in 
placing the table against the door, in reaching above the door for 
a gun, was shot and killed, the ball passing through the door. 
Thwarted in their efforts in effecting an entrance into the house, 
the Indians turned the assault on an outhouse standing near the 
main dwelling. In this outbuilding slept a young negro man and 
two Graham children. The negro, whose name was Sharp, tried 
to escape by climbing up the chimney. Chimneys in those days 
were large and roomy, and a man could easily pass from the fire- 
place to the top. But when he was discovered, he was hauled 
down, tomahawked and scalped. There were two children in the 
loft above, who began to cry, and that directed the attention of 
the Indians to that quarter. They shot up through the floor, 
wounded the eldest of the two boys, named John, in the knee, 
dragged him and his brother down into the yard, John being 
wounded so badly that he could not stand on his foot, and. thinking 
that he would be a burdensome prisoner, they tomahawked him 
and carried ofif his scalp. 

While this was going on in the kitchen. Col. Graham had gone 
upstairs, and was shooting through a port-hole at the Indians in 
the yard, and one Indian was thought to have been killed, and 
others possibly wounded. An Indian skeleton was found on Indian 
Draft a few years afterwards, near where E. D. Alderson now 
resides, and his jaw bones were used by Col. Graham for many 
years as a gun-rack. 

When morning came it was found that Col. Graham's ten- 


year-old boy, their neighbor, McDonald, and their servant. Sharp, 
were dead, and their" seven-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, was miss- 
ing. Col. Graham, with a number of neighbors, followed, and, after 
eight years, recovered the possession of his daughter, and for her 
ransom paid thirty saddles, a lot of beads and other trinkets, in 
all of the value of $300.00 in silver. The recovery was made at 
Limestone Creek, where Maysville, Kentucky, now is situated. 
Col. Graham made several expeditions to secure the possession of 
his daughter, and had negotiated for her possession on more than 
one occasion, but the treachery of the Indians prevented his carry- 
ing them into effect until this final ransom. After the exchange 
was made the shoes of the horses of the rescuing party were re- 
versed, so that, if pursued by the Indians, the horses' tracks would 
seem to be traveling in an opposite direction. 

This young lady was retained by the Indians for eight years, 
and, upon her return to civilization, the customs she met with 
seemed new and strange. On one occasion her mother asked her 
to soak the bread, and afterwards asked her how it was getting 
on. She replied, "Very well," that she had "taken two loaves and 
thrown them into the river and put a rock on them." She threat- 
ened frequently to return to the Indians. She afterwards married 
Joel Stodgill, in the year 1792, and settled on Han's Creek, in 
Monroe County, and reared five sons and four daughters. She 
died March 22, 1858. She was the grandmother of Mr. Andrew P. 
Pence, of Pence Springs; also of Mrs. Richard McNeer, and the 
grandmother of Mrs. Rebecca McNeer, the wife of Caperton Mc- 
Neer, who was a Stodgill, and uncle and aunt of the writer, u'sw 
residing at Linside, in Monroe County. 

The occurrence of this Indian tragedy was at what is now 
Lowell, where the ancestors of the present Graham family formed 
a settlement about the year 1770 or 1780, and v. as the tirst oer- 
matient seltlement in this county of which wc have any positive 
record, except on Crump's Bottom in 17.50. They afterwards 
located at what is now Clayton Post Ofifice, at the foot of Keeney's 
Knob, which lands are still held by the immediate descendants, 
Mr. Charles H. Graham, David Graham Ballangee, James Gra- 
ham's widow, Rebecca, who, after his death, married W. W. Wal- 
ton, and other descendants. 

I am indebted for the account of this Indian capture of Eliza- 
beth (Graham) Stodhill to Mr. David Graham's book (History of 
the Graham Family), and from the immediate descendants of Mrs. 
Stodgill, many of whom are now living in Monroe, Summers and 


P'ayette Counties. While the real and proper name of Mrs. Stod- 
gill is "Stodgill," the name of Sturgeon is very commonly used, 
and as such they are known. Mrs. Margaret Miller, of Gauley 
Bridge, in Fayette County, being one of the descendants of this 
lady and, until recent investigations, was under the impression that 
her descendants' proper name was "Sturgeon." The settlements 
of the Gwinns, Kellars, Kincaids and others were made about this 
time on the Greenbrier River, in the Lowell neighborhood, and 
with the permission of Mr. David Graham, the historian of the 
Graham family, I have secured and used much information and data 
in regard to the early settlement of the Lowell section. 

The Indians killed an old lady by the name of Massey on the 
Mathews farm, just across Greenbrier River from Talcott, West 
Virginia, about 1778 or 1779. Two Indians were passing there, 
and they did no other mischief except to kill this lady. Isaac Bal- 
langee, the grandfather of LaFayette Ballangee, now eighty years 
old, residing near the mouth of Greenbrier River, settled at the 
mouth of Greenbrier, on the old Evi Ballangee place, in 1780, and 
a man by the name of Brooks at the same time settled at Brooks' 
Post OfBce, four miles west of Hinton, in the Fox neighborhood, 
and it was after him that Brooks' Creek, Brooks' Falls, on New 
River, and Post Office, were named. Ballangee first settled on the 
island to more easily protect themselves from the sa>'age and 
beasts of the wilderness. 

The New River country was visited by Chief Justice John Mar- 
shall, the great chief justice of the United States, with other com- 
missioners, who explored that stream in 1812. The report of these 
commissioners is a most interesting document. An exploration 
was also made by Loami Baldwin and party in 1817, in a boat fifty 
feet long, from the mouth of Howard's Creek in Greenbrier County, 
and down the Greenbrier River to its mouth at Foss, a mile east 
of Summers' court house; thence they turned up New River and 
proceeded to the mouth of Indian Creek; thence they returned 
down the river to the present site of Hinton, and thence on down 
New River to its mouth. 

These are said by Prof. Virgil A. Lewis to be the most inter- 
esting narratives of our state. 

Chief Justice Marshall on this exploration climbed to the top 
of what is commonly known as "Hawk's Nest," some six miles 
from the mouth of Gaully, a great cliiT in the New River gorge or 
canyon, and from this visit it took the name of Marshall's Pillar, a 
wonderful natural curiosity, and is viewed and visited by many tour- 


ists at this day. The accounts of these explorations are now on file 
in the department of Archives and History, at Charleston, of 
which Prof. Lewis is state historian and archivist. He is a direct 
descendant of Gen. Charles Lewis, of Point Pleasant fame, and 
whose ancestors first surveyed the Greenbrier country and named 
the Greenbrier River. He was for a term the State Superintendent 
of Schools of West Virginia, resides at Raymond City, in Mason 
County, and is the celebrated historian of the state, and has done 
more to preserve the ancient history of the state to posterity than 
any and all other persons. 

Chief Justice Marshall and other commissioners were sent out 
to explore this New River in 1812. Laomi Baldwin and party 
came on a similar voyage in 1817. They again visited and passed 
by the site of Hinton, and explored a great part of our country. 



John Hite was the name of the first man to plant the stand- 
ard of civilization west of the Blue Ridge Mountains. 

John Lewis, an expert surveyor, first made a survey of the 
Greenbrier region, surveying the Greenbrier Land Company's 
grants in the years 1749 and 1750, and it was he, while making this 
survey, who named the Greenbrier River and proclaimed it the most 
beautiful river in America, calling it the "Lady of the Mountains," 
giving it the name of Greenbrier by reason of the great numbers 
of green briers, a thorny vine-appearing growth, perfectly green, 
which spontaneously grew along the banks of that river, and which 
grows there the same this day. The land was so cheap in those 
days that Governor Gooch, of Virginia, was so well pleased that 
he issued a grant to Benj. Borden, or Burden, for four hundred 
thousand acres of land in consideration of Borden having deliv- 
ered to him a white buffalo calf. 

This man Burden was a native of England who settled in the 
valley of V^irginia. He was the possessor of a great estate in lands, 
a man of great experience and of great character. His word or his 
scrip went as good as those of the nation's banks, and it was from 
this character which he bore over great regions of the country that 
brought about the saying, "As good as Ben. Burden's bill." The 
ancient Peck family were allied by marriage with this character- 
istic Englishman, and the name Benj. Burden Peck is a common 
name in the Peck family of this day. 

Monroe County, as heretofore stated, was formed from Green- 
brier on the 14th day of January, 1799. The first term of court 
for that county was held at the house and in the barn of George 
King, and then by adjournment therefrom to his barn after the noon 
hour, for convenience, as stated by the records. 

On the second day of the term James Graham was recommended 
to the governor as a person well qualified for colonel : William 
Graham and Mat Earley for captains : ^^'^11iam Maddy, David 


Graham and Tollison Shumate for Heutenants, and James Gwinn 
and John Harvey for ensigns ; Joseph xA-lderson for second lieuten- 
ant. The James Graham mentioned was the same Colonel Graham 
who made the settlement at Lowell, where the old ferry across 
Greenbrier River is known to this day as Graham's Ferry. James 
Graham was at this term also recommended as a suitable person 
for coroner. There are descendants of all these people living in 
this region at this day, no doubt. They are persons of the same 
name, and there is no question but what they are direct descend- 
ants of these old settlers. 

Thomas Lowe, Robert Dunbar, John Cottle, George Foster and 
Enos Halstead are mentioned in the first records of this court, and 
are names familiar to Summers County citizens at the present gen- 
eration. Jacob Persinger and John Peck were members of the 
first grand jury of that county. Greenbrier County, as before 
stated, was formed in October, 1777, and extended from the top 
of the Allegheny Mountains to the Ohio River. Col. James Gra- 
ham, who is frequently mentioned in this story, was in Donnally's 
Fort, eight miles from Lewisburg, when that place was last at- 
tacked by the Indians in 1778, and assisted in its defense against 
these marauders. 

Rev. John McElheny was the second Presbyterian minister of 
whom we have any record in the Greenbrier region. He came to 
Lewisburg in 1798, and was in the active ministry until 1871, Lick 
Creek being within his territory, visiting that region at John Mil- 
ler's, Sr., and his brother, Robert's, once a month, Robert Miller 
having settled about a mile and a half below John on Lick Creek. 

John Alderson was the founder of the Baptist Church at Alder- 
son, near the Summers County line, about the year 1775. These 
pioneers ministered to the spiritual wants of our grandparents, 
their parishioners, and Rev. McElheney, who was well-known and 
remembered by my father, was not averse to some of the internal 
physical comforts of the body, as well as ministering to the spir- 
itual welfare of his parishioners. The last exercise before break- 
fast on each morning was for the two old gentlemen, John Miller 
and the reverend, to take their morning toddy of sugar, warm water 
and apple brandy. Mr. McElheny afterwards became a Doctor of 
Divinity and was a patriarch of the Presbyterian Church, and was 
a very saintly, pious and devout man. 

In those days every farmer who had an apple or other orchard 
manufactured what fruit he had or desired into brandv. If he had 


a good plum crop he made it into brandy ; or, if it was a peach 
crop or apple crop, it was peach or apple brandy. 

George W. Summers, after whom Summers County was named, 
was born in Fayette County in 1804, settled in Kanawha County 
while a boy, graduated at the Ohio University, elected to the Gen- 
eral Assembly of Virginia for ten years, elected to Congress and 
took his seat in 1842, re-elected in 1845 ; was a member of the Con- 
stitutonal Convention of 1850, and a Whig condidate for governor 
in 1851. In 1852 he was elected judge of the Eighteenth Judicial 
Circuit of Virginia, but resigned in 1858. In 1861 was a member 
of the convention which passed the Ordinance of Secession, which 
action on the part of the convention he earnestly opposed. 

The town of Hinton was incorporated September 21, 1880. We 
are unable from history or from tradition to give any detailed state- 
ment of the different sections of the county. The most reliable in- 
formation we have is as to the two sections of this county now 
included in Green Sulphur and Talcott Districts. 

That section near and around Lowell was one of the earliest 
settled sections of the county. About the year 1770, or, possibly, 
a little later, James Graham, with his family, moved to Greenbrier 
and settled on the opposite side of the river from where the village 
of Lowell now stands. He erected on his own land a farmhouse, 
two stories, built of hewn logs, of which we are enabled to repro- 
duce a cut, as the house is still standing, well preserved, now 
occupied by B. L. Kesler. This house was built a century and a 
quarter, or more, ago. It is in size 24 x 30 feet, two stories high ; 
the sills of walnut, with two large stone chimneys ; the fireplace in 
the front room is six feet wide, and has a wooden arch five feet 
high. The hardware consisted of wrought iron nails, made from a 
blacksmith shop; the lumber was sawed by hand by an old-fash- 
ioned whip-saw. This house at the time of its construction was 
considered one of the finest in all that region. There was a fort 
erected on the opposite side of the river, where Spott's Hotel now 
stands, known as Graham's Fort. It will be remembered that, after 
the destruction of the white settlements on Muddy Creek and in 
Greenbrier County by the Indians, about 1760. all the settlers 
were killed, captured or fled, and no further attempts were made 
towards again settling the Greenbrier country until about 1770. 
It is generally believed that this settlement, when made by Col. 
Graham, was one of the first made in this immediate region, if not 
the very first. 

A Mr. Van Vibber located on the opposite side of the river on 
the George Keller place about the same time that Col. Graham 


located at the Bun Kesler place. The name of Van Vibber is 
familiar in the settlement of the Great Kanawha region, and it is 
believed that the name comes from the same man who early settled 
on Greenbrier. 

About the same time that Graham settled near Lowell, Samuel 
and James Gwinn, two brothers, settled in the same section. The 
Grahams and Gwinns were neighbors on the Calf Pasture River 
in Virginia before they emigrated, and had both sailed from 
Ireland together. Samuel Gwinn, Sr., moved from the Lowell 
settlement to Lick Creek, where Green Sulphur Springs is now 
located, about the year 1800. and died there March 25. 1839, in 
the ninety-fourth year of his age. 

Hon. M. Gwinn and Sherifif H. Gwinn, whose names are fre- 
quently mentioned in this narrative, now own the farm settled on 
by him. He is reported to have accumulated considerable prop- 
erty, and that at one time he had $12,000.00 in silver, which he 
divided among his sons some years before his death. His sons 
were named Samuel and Andrew, and Mr. David Graham, the 
author of the "History of the Graham Family," now well advanced 
in the eighties, remembers seeing them take their part of the silver 
by his father's house in common grain bags, and about a half 
bushel in bulk in each. They carried this money from Green Sul- 
phur Springs up Lick Creek, over Keeney's Knob to their home at 
Lowell, they having $2,500.00 each. 

It is told of this Mr. Gwinn that, while he was attending to 
some business at Lewisburg, he fell in with some gamblers who 
induced him to enter a game of cards. Knowing that he had plenty 
of money, they permitted him to win the first few games, then 
proceeded to double the bet, to which he replied that his mother 
had always told him that it was a wise man who knew when to 
quit; so saying, he arose from the table and bade the gamblers 
"good day." 

The descendants of this Samuel Gwinn are many, and are lo- 
cated over different parts of the L'nited States. He was the grand- 
father of Andrew Gwinn, now residing at Lowell, more than 
eighty-five years of age .and of Samuel, who died over the age of 
ninety, within the last twelve months. Andrew, better known as 
"Long Andy," on account of his great height, is living on almost 
the identical spot where their grandfather located more than 125 
years ago. James Gwinn, who located near the same place on 
Keller's Creek and on what is now knoAvn as the Laban Gwinn 


place. It was his son who was appointed ensign at the first court 
ever held in Monroe County. 

Conrad Keller was one of the early settlers of the Lowell set- 
tlement, and it was his daughter that married Ephraim J. Gwinn, 
the youngest son of Samuel Gwinn, Sr., and the father of M. and H. ' 
Gwinn. and it was his daughter who married James Ferrel, who 
lived in the big bend of Greenbrier River back of the Big Bend 
Tunnel, where E. D. Ferrell and William Ferrell now reside. 
George and Henry Keller, of Lowell, are descendants of Conrad 
Keller, as is also Robert A. Keller, cashier of bank of Pineville. 

The property at Lowell settled on by the Kellers in these early 
times still remains in the Keller family, and has come down from 
one generation to another until the present time ; George Keller, 
an aged and respected citizen residing at Lowell Station, and Henry 
Keller, a nephew, a short distance up Keller's Creek. The Keller 
homestead, as suggested by Mr. Graham, is on a beautiful eleva- 
tion overlooking Greenbrier River. Mr. George Keller is about 
eighty-five years old, and one of the most respected citizens of this 
county, as is Mr. Henry Keller, who is very much younger in years. 

Among the early settlers in this vicinity was a man by the 
name of See, who lived on the land originally occupied by David 
Keller. The date of his settling can not be stated, but supposed 
to be about the time of the Graham settlement. See sold his claim 
to Conrad Keller, and went farther west. He finally permanently 
located on the Big Sandy River, where his descendants reside to 
this day. 

To these primeval settlers might also be added the name of 
Notliff Taylor, who settled at the Henry ^Nlilburn place, eight or 
nine miles west of the Graham settlement on the Greenbrier River. 
His daughter. Ann, married Isaac Milburn. the grandfather of our 
present county man, Henry Milburn, Jr., and the father of the late 
Henry Milburn, deceased. Elizabeth married Samuel Gwinn. 

William Kincaid settled on the Jesse Beard place, now owned 
1)y Messrs. A. P. Pence and George N. Davis, on which the cele- 
brated Pence's Spring is situated, along about this time. This 
spring was then celebrated only as a bufifalo lick, and the marks 
of the old bufifalo traces may still be seen leading across Keeney's 
Knob from the Buffalo Spring (head of Lick Creek) to the Buffalo 
Lick, they being located about fifteen miles apart, where Green 
Sulphur is located. Kincaid left that settlement about the year 
1800, and left no descendants in this county so far as known. \\^il- 
liam Hinchman, an Englishman, settled in this county east of 


Lowell, close to the Summers line, in what is now Monroe County, 
about the time of the Revolutionary War, and of whom the present 
William Hinchman's family are descendants ; Capt. A. A. Miller, 
of Lick Creek, having married a daughter of William Hinchman, 
and a sister of the late John Hinchman. William Hinchman first 
settled on the river below the mouth of Gwinn's Branch, just below 
Lowell, under a lease from Samuel Gwinn, Sr., and shortly after- 
wards left and permanently settled on the present Hinchman prop- 
erty. William Hinchman was born in the year 1770. He was the 
father of twenty-four children. This William Hinchman was the 
grandfather of the late Hon. John Hinchman, whose death oc- 
curred in 1896, and on whose tombstone at the; old Riverview 
Church is inscribed, "He died as he lived — a Christian." 

The Grahams left the Lowell settlement and located at the foot 
of Keeney's Knob on the ground now occupied by Mr. David 
Graham Ballangee, the postmaster. On the spot where Joseph 
Graham first located, near Clayton, had been a hunter's cabin, 
previously occupied by a man by the name of Stevenson, or "Stin- 
son," from which a spur of Keeney's Knob overlooking the Graham 
farm is to this day called "Stinson's Knob." 

After the termination of the French and Indian War the French 
maintained no further claims or supremacy over any of the terri- 
tory of West Virginia. It may be possible that some of the Indian 
depredations made on the English settlers after that time were 
instigated by unauthorized French adventurers without authority 
from the government, as the English and French were at war 
almost continually during the settlement period of this dominion. 
It was no doubt within the French dominion proper at one time, 
but was claimed by the English as a part of the discoveries of 
John and Sebastian Cabot, who sailed along a part of the Atlantic 
Coast in 1498, after the discoveries of Columbus, the Spanish 
admiral and discoverer. The Six Nations, the most powerful Indian 
confederacy ever on the American continent, held dominion of the 
territory of West Virginia at one time, but its entire authority, 
whatever it was, was relinquished to King George of Great Britain 
by the treaty signed on the 24th of August, 1768. 

Abram Keller, a descendant of Konrad Keller, possibly his son, 
removed to Ironton, Ohio, and formed a Keller settlement, and 
one of his descendants, R, A. Keller, the courteous cashier of the 
Citizens' National Bank of Pineville, is his descendant, and Konrad 
Keller, of the Lowell settlement, his ancestor. Ben D. Keller, the 
efficient stenographer, who has given great aid in this work, is his 


son. R. A. Keller married a direct descendant of Peter Wright, the 
hunter and pioneer, who first explored and hunted over Peters 
Mountain, and after whom it is named. 

The farm known as Barker's Bottom on New River, now owned 
by Mrs. John Webb and Mrs. Rosa Bradbury, daughters of the late 
M. C. Barker, was originally granted by the Commonwealth of 
Virginia to Thomas Gatlifif ; was conveyed by his heirs to Anderson 
Pack, and by Pack to M. C. Barker. It is one of the richest and 
most desirable tracts of land in Summers County. In 1891, during 
a freshet in New River, it overflowed its banks, washing off the 
top of the soil a depth of over eighteen inches, covering a consid- 
rable strip of this land, uncovering and exposing a prehistoric grave- 
yard entirely unknown to any person then living prior to this 
freshet. This graveyard covers at least forty acres of that bottom, 
and was evidently the burying-place of some prehistoric race of 
people. Whole skeletons of human bodies were uncovered, human 
teeth were found well preserved, skulls, bones, and skeletons of 
entire human bodies. In nearly all of the graves were found a 
knife-shaped bone, which had evidently been dressed and used as 
a weapon and buried with the owner. 

A peculiar pot made from clay was discovered, and in one place 
as many as two hundred human teeth found in a pile, apparently 
the teeth of children. A stone turtle was found on this ground 
several years previous by Jonathan Lee Barker, and at the request 
of John West, who resided in Alexandria, Virginia, and the owner 
of a large tract of land in the Pipestem District, the possession of 
this stone relic was transferred to him and he delivered the same 
to the Smithsonian Institute at Washington, D. C, where it may 
be seen at this day by persons visiting that interesting institution, 
but Mr. West gives credit to himself and to Virginia as the con- 
tributors, and not to Summers County and Mr. Barker. 

I am under obligations to Mr. William Remly Mann for infor- 
mation regarding this prehistoric graveyard, Mr. J. L. Barker and 
others. Mr. Mann now resides in this neighborhood. He is a son 
of Jacob Mann, who removed from Monroe County many years 
ago, and settled in the Ellisons' neighorhood in Jumping Branch 
District. His father, now deceased, was a member of the first 
Grand Jury sitting in Summers County, at the old log church on 
New River. The old graveyard referred to has been plowed over 
and cultivated for hundreds of years no doubt. The skeletons were 
buried in a cramped and upright position. No metals of any kind 
were discovered. The bodies were placed in the ground three or 


four feet apart and in an irregular formation. All kinds of animal 
bodies were also found, in these graves, as well as mussel and other 

Neely Cook, one hundred years ago, built a cabin on this bot- 
tom, which was immediately on the grounds of these graves, but 
they were unknown and undiscovered by him until revealed as 
herein stated. The same freshet washed out the Harvey Bottoms 
further up the river, and also Crump's Bottoms, where the same 
evidences of ancient burying-grounds were exposed in each in- 
stance, and the bones of animals and many skeletons of human 
beings, no doubt of a prehistoric race, whose fate and whose history 
is lost forever. The Harvey place is some ten miles above the 
Gatliff or Barkers, and the Crumps about half way between. Many 
relics, skulls, stones, pottery, etc., are preserved, too numerous to 
undertake to describe further. 

When the county was first formed everything was primitive as 
late as 1871. It was the ragged end of four old counties. Every 
farmer raised all of his own grain, and bought what he was short 
from his more thrifty neighbor ; raised and preserved all his own 
meat ; raised sheep, from the wool of which he manufactured his 
clothing, weaving the cloth for wearing apparel, the cloth being 
jeans and flannel, and tow from flax; raised, "skutched" and spun 
on the old-fashioned spinning-wheel, and woven into cloth on the 
looms, all well-regulated farms having all the necessary apparatus 
for this character of manufacture. The leather for the shoes, boots 
and harness was made from the beeves killed for meat on the farm. 
All clothing, after the cloth had been woven by the women of the 
household, was by them cut, patterned and made into clothes for 
both the male and female members of the family; some of the cloth 
for the ladies' wearing apparel being secured at the store, but the 
stores were few and far between and the prices exorbitant. All 
sugar was manufactured from the sugar tree, and the country 
blacksmith made nearly all the farming implements, including 
wagons, of which there were but few ; and the reap hook and sickle 
were still in use, with the cradle and scythe for cutting wheat and 
grass. There were but two mowing machines in the country, and 
no harvesters ; fertilizers being unheard of in farming except what 
was gathered from the barn. Skiffs and boats were hardly known 
on the rivers, the canoe being still dexterously handled by the 
hardy river men. Kerosene oil lamps were not introduced until 
1865, the pine knot, old "tallow dip," candle and sycamore ball 
rolled in grease being still in use. 


There was one store in the Green Sulphur District at the okl 
log storehouse, kept by James Bledsoe, once maintained by John 
and Alex. Miller; one in Talcott, kept by J. W. and Wm. Jones; one 
in Jumping Branch, kept by Wm. T. Meador; and one at Forest 
Hill, then known as the Farms. They were all the stores in the 
county at the date of its formation, and the goods were hauled over- 
land from Lynchburg, Jackson's River and Cannelton, the head of 
navigation on the Kanawha River. There had once been a store 
at Elton in a log house, one kept by David M. Riffe on the Riife's 
Bottom, where M. AI. Warren now lives on the old Red Sulphur 
Turnpike. All salt was hauled from the Kanawha River, and cost 
$9.00 per barrel. The flint-lock rifle was still used, and the "deer- 
lick" was watched by night. The "log-rollings," "grubbings," 
"skutchings," "cpiltings" and "fencings" were still in vogue, when 
a man's neighbors, both men and women, would be invited, and 
spend the day in aiding in whatever work was desired. The "corn 
huskings" were usually at night, when both men and women would 
gather in and shuck out a neighbor's cornfield. Elections were 
holidays. The woods were still full of deer and all small game, 
and the rivers filled with fish. The people were not poor, nor were 
they rich, but they were happy. Crime was not general ; little use 
was. had for locks; the principal subject for larceny was" the horse. 
Horse stealing was not uncommon, but the thieves were from with- 
out the borders of the county. A wedding in the neighborhood was 
a notable event, and everybody went to church and the funeral. The 
coming of the railway, the steam sawmill and allied industries have 
changed the face of the civilization of this territory. Thirty years 
ago, before the railway came and the public works, the employment 
was on the farm. A young man would engage to do farm work 
for a whole year for a horse. This work was in clearing uj) the 
wild lands, grubbing, fence building, log rolling, brush burning, 
etc., and in raising a crop. There were no markets except what 
could be sold to the country produce store for merchandise. Fifty 
cents a day was the usual wages for "straight time" — no allow- 
ance for wet days or time not actually at labor, and the hours 
were from daylight to dark. The principal income was from the 
stock raised and tobacco grown. A few made money by hunting 
the wild game still in the mountains. Hugh Boone still made 
$10.00 a day. 

The first store on Lick Creek after the Civil War was by S. 
Williams & Co., the company being John A., James W. and Wm. 
E. Miller. They bought their goods from Jas. H. Miller at Gauley 
Bridge and hauled them over Sewell Mountain, sixty miles. 


The advancements of industry and wealth of the county since 
its formation have been steady and upward. There have been no 
booms in realty, nor were we in the boom sections at any time 
during their history. Our towns, villages, lots, farms and prop- 
erties have steadily enhanced with a regular financial growth. Being 
exclusively an agricultural territory, among great mountains and 
hills, with narrow valleys, there have been no sudden advancing 
prices of real property, but much more of the lands have come into 
the market and become salable, which were not marketable at the 
date of the establishment of the county. Great portions of the 
lands which were in forests and a wilderness, have been cleared 
up, and are now under cultivation. Real estate, which was scarcely 
worth paying the taxes on then, is now supporting thrifty inhab- 
itants. The population has grown from some 8,000 in 1880, the 
date of our first census since the formation of the county, to 16,000, 
as shown by the census of 1900. The increase in population in 
the interim of twenty years being about 8,000. The voting popu- 
lation was then 750 votes ; in 1904, 3,600 votes. 

We doubt if there is in the state a county in which there is a 
greater per cent, of the inhabitants who own their own homes and 
are freeholders. Many of them rough, hilly, steep and small in 
territory, but the owner is independent and the owner of his own 
castle. Nothing tends more to the honesty and general well-being 
of a community than the independence of its inhabitants, and noth- 
ing tends to make those inhabitants independent, free, honest and 
upright than their ability to own their own homes, which he feels 
is his castle, be it ever so small or humble, or however prescribed 
its territorial limits may be. 

The price of lands being so reasonable, the poorest laborer, if 
he had any thrift, was able to buy and pay for a home for himself 
and his children. There has been of late years a tendency of many 
of our young men to abandon the farm, with its quiet, and seek the 
more exciting life and surroundings of the public works; but, as a 
general rule, we doubt if the exchange from the farm to the shop 
has been for the betterment of the general condition of the majority 
of those who have sought the change. There has been a steady 
increase in the wealth of the population, as is shown by the com- 
parison of the various re-assessments of the realty and the annual 
assessment of the personalty. 

The great apparent advancement for the year 1905 is accounted 
for from the fact that, prior to 1904, in making the assessments, the 
assessor, under the prior laws, fixed the values at approximately 


from one-half to two-thirds of what property would bring if sold 
at public auction for cash under the hammer, or what property 
would bring if placed on the block, but in 1904, by an Act passed 
by an extraordinary session of the Legislature, the valuations were 
required to be fixed at "their true and actual value" — what the 
property would bring if sold, or, in the ordinary methods of trade, 
whether for cash or on a credit. 

There is much more wealth now within the borders of the 
county than there was at its formation. Many of the farmers have 
accumulated and saved up money, in addition to improving, clear- 
ing up and enhancing the values of their farms. It is not infrequent 
to find a thrifty farmer with a snug bank account to his credit, in 
the meantime building new, comfortable and modern dwellings, 
outbuildings, placing plank and wire fences around his lands, re- 
moving the rocks, clearing up and draining the soil. 

The price of labor, especially of skilled labor, has increased, as 
well as- the cost of living. Skilled labor has increased largely, and 
many have saved snug fortunes, secured handsome and comfor- 
table residences, as well as placing a nice bank account to their 
credit. Great and material advancements along these lines have 
been U'l^'e. The old-fashioned log house is disappearing. The 
man who was able to construct and own a two-story hewn log 
house in the early days was considered prosperous, and was gen- 
erally considered getting along better than his neighbor who still 
adhered to the round log house, but few of the "best-to-do." or 
aristocrats, if I may apply that term to any of the former inhabit- 
ants, had better than a double story hewed log house, covered with 
shingles and ceiled on the inside, but usually daubed with mortar 
and chinks by filling the cracks between the logs with split sticks 
or chinking, and then filling the reniainder of the space and cover- 
ing the chinks with mortar. Every enterprising or well-to-do 
farmer had a mortar hole on his farm, and every fall, before the 
coming on of winter, "daubed" his house by filling up the cracks, 
or holes where the chinking had come loose, or the daubing had 
fallen out during the previous season. 

At the date of the formation of Summers County there were 
but tw^o brick houses and no frame houses in Green Sulphur Dis- 
trict — that of Capt. A. A. Miller on Lick Creek, built in 1868 by 
Capt. Silas F. Taylor, and that of Sheriflf H. Gwinn, built also by 
Mr. Taylor, at Green Sulphur Springs, for his father. Ephraim J. 
Gwinn. In Jumping Branch District there was only one brick 
house and no frame houses. That one brick house is now owed by 


Mr. W. D. R. Deeds, near Jumping Branch. In Pipestem District 
there was but one brick house, that of Wm. B. Crump, on Crump's 
Bottom, and a two-story, unpainted frame house on the land of 
Anderson Shumate on the old Mercer Salt Works property. In 
Forest Hill District there was but one brick house, that of Mr. 
Isaac Young, on New River, which later fell down and has been 
destroyed. Not a single frame house was in that district (in 
Greenbrier District there was not a single brick house nor any 
frame dwellings; Talcott was then a part of Greenbrier), not even 
where the city of Hinton now stands, the only buildings in the 
territory of the two cities being two two-story hewed log houses. 

There were then no frame or plank stables, barns or fences, all 
being log, and the fences all old split rail worm fence, many of the 
rails being of popular and walnut timber. 

There was in the early days quite a profitable industry from 
which the farmers and merchants derived a considerable income — 
that of raising and transporting tobacco, which was cultivated quite 
extensively and successfully in Forest Hill and Pipestem and a part 
of Talcott Districts, there being one good tobacco factory in the 
county, at Forest Flill. owned by the late James Mann, an enter- 
prising citizen, farmer and cattle-raiser of Monroe and Greenbrier 
Counties. The tobacco was raised and cured in log barns built 
for that purpose, and then transported to market by wagons, usu- 
ally to Danville, Lynchburg and Richmond, in Virginia. In Pipe- 
stem District the soil was peculiarly adapted to raising a very fine 
•quality of merchantable tobaccos, used largely for wrapper, which 
brought fancy prices, but this industry has since been abandoned, 
and many of the tobacco barns now permitted to bepome unpic- 
turesque ruins. 

It was a somewhat uncertain crop, and frequently, after the 
farmer had his crop almost ready for the market, he would lose 
it by fire in conclu'ding its cure. There is now no tobacco raised 
in the county for market. 

Maj. Anderson McNeer, of Monroe County, in 1878, established, 
in connection with his son, A. A. McNeer, now a resident of Green- 
ville, in that county, a factory for the manufacture of plug 
tobacco in the town of Hinton, which he followed with some 
success for a few years, but finally, on account of the failure of 
the farmers to produce a sufficient crop to justify it, he abandoned 
the enterprise and sold the outfit. Geo. W. Chattin, at Talcott, 
also had a tobacco factory at Rollinsburg on his farm on Greenbrier 
River, now in ruins. 




It is true the poverty of the early days of this country which 
the pioneers felt was, as said by the late Hon. James G. Blaine, 
"Indeed no poverty; it was but the beginning of wealth, and it has 
the boundless possibilities of the future always open before it." 

In those days the "house-raising," "corn-husking," "log-roll- 
ing," and the "fence-buildings," "tlax scutchings" and "quiltings" 
were matters of common interest in the neighborhood, as well as 
helpfulness, and those who have grown up in this independent agri- 
cultural region can have no other quality than that of broadness, 
generousness and independence. This honorable independence marks 
the history of the inhabitants of this good county, and may it ever 
continue, for it marks the rank of millions of the best 1)lood and 
brain of the present citizenship and future government of the repub- 
lic. The boy who was born heir to land and the man who acquires 
it and who holds title to that of freeholder has the patent to and 
passport of independence, as well as self-respect. 

The people of Summers County should be proud of their log 
cabins and of their aristocratic log mansions. They are passing 
away, and, possibly before another generation has passed, will be 
as much of a curiosity among our hills as the old Revolutionary 
flint-lock musket is at the present day, and our independent pro- 
genitors will be as proud as Daniel Webster when he proclaimed 
before a great multitude his testimony, that "It did not happen for 
me to be born in a log cabin, but my elder l)rothers and sisters 
were born in a log cabin, raised among the snowdrifts of New 
Hampshire in a period so early that, when the smoke rose first 
from its rude chimney and curled over the frozen hills, there was 
no similar evidence of a white man's habitation between it and 
the settlements on the rivers of Canada. Its remains still exist. 
I make it an annual visit. I carry my children to it to teach them 
the hardships endured by the generations which have gone before 
them. I love to dwell on the tender recollections, the kindred ties, 
the early alYections and the touching narratives and incidents which 
mingle with all I know in this primitive family abode." 


This battle occurred on the 10th of October. 1774, and was the 
termination of "Dunmore's War." y\t that time l-'incastli.- C'ounty 
included all the present state of Kentucky and a large part of West 
Virginia, and especially the section of the state of which Summers 
is a part. The Indians were in command of one of the greatest of 


their race — Cornstalk — who was not unfriendly to the whites, and 
who was afterwards murdered in cold blood by mutinous troops, 
and in whose honor a monument stands in the court house yard at 
Point Pleasant, Mason County: and Logan, the famous Mingo 
chief, was also in this battle. Logan's mother was a Cayuga In- 
dian ; his father was a French child captured and adopted into the 
Oneida tribe. For many years he lived at Shamokin, Pa., and was 
known as John Shikellimo. His appellation of Logan was in honor 
of James Logan, the secretary of the province. His Lidian name 
was Tachenechdonis (Branching Oak of the Forest). During the 
French and Indian AVar he maintained strict neutrality, seeking 
refuge in Philadelphia. Tradition tells of his kindness and friend- 
ship to the whites, good will and generosity, except when under 
the influence of liquor. In 1772 he removed to Yellow Creek, 
where, on April 30, 1774, occurred an incident which led to "Dun- 
more's War" and the Battle of Point Pleasant. Having glutted his 
vengeance by five prolonged raids during the summer and autumn, 
he returned during Lord Dunmore's negotiations with the Indians. 
Failing to appear, Dunmore sent his interpreter, Gibson, to bring 
him to the conference. Logan refused to go, and upon that occa- 
sion delivered the famous speech, generally quoted as an example of 
Indian eloquence, to which Jefiferson paid the high tribute in his 
"Notes on Virginia." There has long been a great controversy 
concerning the genuineness of this speech and its attribution to the 
murder of Logan's people by Cressap and Greathouse. 

It is established beyond a reasonable doubt that this speech was 
delivered in substance as it has come down to us by Logan, but he 
was mistaken in attributing the murder of his family to Cresap. 
(See Jacob's "Life of Cresap and Meyers.") 

After this time he removed to Mud River in Logan County, 
and, later, to Detroit. He saved Simon Kenton from the stake in 
1778, and the next year was leading savage Indians in Southwest 
Virginia. He was killed by one of his relatives in 1778 on his return 
to Detroit. He said he had two souls — one bad and one good. 
When the good soul ruled, he was kind and humane ; when the bad 
ruled, he was perfectly savage, and delighted in nothing but blood 
and carnage. He was half white French and half Indian. The 
Mingoes refused the Dunmore Treaty. Logan County is named 
for this chief and Mingo for his tribe. Logan's family had been 
killed in his absence without provocation. There is no doubt in 
my mind of the genuineness of this speech. 

The Virginia forces were commanded by General Charles Lewis, 


whose descendants from that day to this have been prominent peo- 
ple in affairs of the state, including Hon. Virgil A. Lewis, of Point 
Pleasant, the author of a history of West Virginia; C. C. Lewis, 
of Charleston; Major B. S. Thompson, of Huntington. General 
Lewis was killed in an open fight, while leading his men at Point 
Pleasant, in 1774, October 10th. 

This battle was two years before the Declaration of Indepen- 
dence, and was an American victory, being fought by American 
pioneers, and not aided by British. AVhile it was in no way related 
to the Revolution, the experience and training obtained was of 
great advantage. The men who fought in the Point Pleasant cam- 
paign fought in the Revolutionary War. Col. Andrew Lewis, who 
was also at this battle, drove Lord Dunmore from Virginia soil 
when the Revolution began. 

Ten of the captains in the Battle of Point Pleasant were officers 
in the American Army of the Revolution. In this enterprise was 
also General Daniel Morgan, the hero of Quebec and the Cowpens, 
1781. In this battle and in Dunmore's War were gathered the men 
who carried American institutions west of the Appalachian Moun- 
tains. They met at this battle and conquered about an equal num- 
ber of the most redoubtable of all savage foes, and infused new 
vigor into the two chief forces of future history — American expan- 
sion and nationalism. 

The army which fought the battle congregated at Lewisburg, 
then Fort Union. The crushing of New France, of which this ter- 
ritory west of the Alleghenies was claimed to be a part, had not 
resulted in rest or safety to the pioneers who were restlessly push-' 
ing westward. The aboriginal hunting grounds were, after this 
battle, and especially after the Revolution, converted first into 
their own game walks and then into farms. These frontiers were 
the line of contact of two irreconcilable races; real and lasting 
peace could not come until one had forever vanquished the other. 
The Indian titles or claims to titles between the Alleghenies dis- 
appeared with the Indian treaties of about the date of Stanwix 
and Lochabar of 1770, which fixed their boundaries at the Ken- 
tucky River. 

This battle was fought and terminated Dunmore's War, which 
preceded the Revolution by two 5'^ears. Logan charged Captain 
Cresap with the murder of his kin at Yellow Creek. Daniel Great- 
house had killed some Indians at the mouth of Yellow Creek, near 
Baker's house, after plying them with whiskey. They were nearly 
all murdered. The Indians that Cresap had killed were above 


Wheeling Creek near Wheeling, or at Captina. Cresap was respon- 
sible for the Yellow Creek killing, but not for the Yellow Creek 
massacre. The Indians were terribly exasperated by these kill- 
ings by Cresap, Greathouse, and other frontier murders, and it 
seemed that they were determined on a general border war. The 
facts were all communicated to the Governor of Virginia, who 
sent Andrew Lewis, then a member of the House of Burgesses from 
Botetourt County, to consult about a plan of campaign. It was 
decided that an army of two divisions should be organized ; one to 
be commanded by Lewis, the other, by Lord Dunmore in person. 
General Andrew Lewis and his brother, Colonel Charles Lewis, then 
also a member of the House of Burgesses from Augusta County, 
started at once to the Valley of Virginia to get together their 
armies from the counties of Augusta, Botetourt and Fincastle, this 
territory being then included in Fincastle County, and the forces 
of Dunmore were to be raised in Frederick and Dunmore Counties, 
now Shenandoah, and adjacent territory. The governor despatched 
Daniel Boone and Mile Stoner to Kentucky to notify all the people 
in that section. Captain John Stuart, from the Greenbrier, des- 
patched two runners, Philip Hammond and John Pryor. Lewis' 
army congregated at Lewisburg, then Fort Union, and was to 
march from thence to the Kanawha, while Dunmore went over 
Braddock's Trail by way of Fort Pitt down the Ohio River, and 
was to form a junction with Lewis at the mouth of the Kanawha, 
which junction was never formed, and Dunmore and his army did 
not participate in that fight. The army of Lewis was made up as 
follows : First, a r,egiment of Augusta troops under Colonel Charles 
Lewis, the captains being Geo. Mathias, Alexander McClanahan, 
John Dickinson, John Lewis, Benjamin Harrison, William Paul, 
Joseph Haynes and Samuel Wilson. Not a man in that company 
was under six feet in height. Second, the Botetourt regiment was 
under Colonel William Fleming. The captains were Mathew Ar- 
buckle, John Murray, John Lewis, James Robertson, Robert Mc- 
Clanahan, James Ward and John Stuart. Third, an independent 
company of seventy m.en under Colonel John Field, raised in Cul- 
pepper County. Fourth, the force under Colonel W^illiam Christian 
consisted of three independent companies under Captains Evan 
Shelby, William Russell and Herbert from the Holstine, Clinch 
and New River settlements, then Fincastle County. A company 
of scouts, under Captain John Draper, of Draper's Valley, and an 
independent company of Captain Thomas Buford. of Bedford 


The aggregate strength of Lewis' army was 1,100. The strength 
of Dunmore's division was 1,500. General Lewis left Lewisburg 
on the 11th of September with Captain Mathew Arbuckle, a great 
frontiersman, as pilot, and marched through the boundless wilder- 
ness, making such roads as was necessary for their pack horses, 
ammunition and provisions and their beef cattle. Their route was 
by Muddy Creek, Keeney's Knob, Rich Creek, Gauley Bridge, 
Twenty Mile, Bell Creek and Kelley's Creek to the Kanawha, and 
down the Kanawha to its mouth, following the Indian trail at the 
base of the hills instead of along the river bank. They reached 
Point Pleasant on the 30th of September, after a march of nineteen 
days. At the mouth of Elk River the army stopped long enough 
to build some canoes by which to transport their packs, and took 
the remainder of the way from there by river. 

Four men who had made a daylight hunting excursion up the 
Ohio River bank from the Point on the morning of the 10th were 
attacked by the Indians, one of whom, Hickman, was killed. They 
were members of Captain Russell's and Shelby's companies, and 
Captain Buford was present and wounded during the day. The 
army was not abundantly fed ; it was gotten together in great 
haste, and was not well clad. They had no spirits, no rations, and 
neither tea nor cofifee, but they were in good health and spirits, 
though tired and worn by the hard march through the wilderness. 

Lewis waited several days for Dunmore to join him, but that 
gentleman seemed to be indisposed to render aid to the American 
soldiers under Lewis, and had camped on the other side of the Ohio 
in front of the Indian towns there. The messengers and scouts of 
Dunmore were McCullock, Kenton and Girty. Lewis received no 
communication from Dunmore, and fought this battle without any 
aid from him whatever. It has been suspected that Dunmore. 
whose sympathy was with the English, being a titled nobleman, 
was not anxious to see the success of Lewis' troops. 

There were eight hundred Indian braves in the army which 
attacked Lewis. They were in command of Cornstalk, Red Hawk, 
Blue Jacket and Elinipsico, and, some claim, by Logan, 'also. It 
was a desperately contested fight. No official report of this battle 
was probably ever given. The fight continued all day. Many of 
the officers were killed, including Colonel Charles Lewis, John 
Field, John Murray, R. McClanahan, Samuel Wilson, James Ward : 
Lieutenant Hugh Allen. Ensigns Cantiflf. Bracken, and forty-four 
privates. Total Americans killed, fifty-three. There were eighty- 
three of the Americans wounded, including Col. William Fleming. 


Captain John Dickinson, Thos. Buford, Skidman ; Lieutenants 
Goldman, Robertson, Lard and Vance, and seventy-nine privates. 
Total wounded and killed, 140 Americans. The Indians fought 
with great bravery, and their loss was never fully known. The 
battle terminated at night. I do not undertake to go into the 
details of this very important battle. Those desiring a full detail 
of this fight would do well to consult Professor Virgil Lewis' His- 
tory of West Virginia, Dr. Hale's Trans-Allegheny Pioneers, Judge 
Johnston's Middle New River Settlements and Dunmore's War, 
published by the Wisconsin Historical Society; also Colonel Pey- 
ton's valuable History of Augusta County. Colonel Stuart, who 
was a captain in this fight, wrote a detailed account of the same 
ten years afterwards. There are many different accounts of this 
battle. Probably the most authentic is that of Captain Arbuckle, 
who was left in command ^fter the army broke camp. All writers 
claim the loss of the Indians was more than that of the whites, 
but this is doubtful. The Indians who were not buried were left 
on the field to pollute the air until the birds and animals disposed 
of them. Not one of the Indian leaders was killed, although they 
fought with great bravery. This fight terminated the Dunmore 
War and gave the settlers in all this region greater security from 
the Indian savages. 



Jacob Pence was an ensign in Captain Paul's Company of 
Augusta Volunteers in the Battle of Point Pleasant. 

Mem.bers : Israel Meador, John Grigsby, John Goodall, James 
Alexander, James Miller, Geo. Harmon, Henry Cook. Thomas 
Maxwell was a scout in 1774 for ten days with Point Pleasant; 
John Kincaide, seven days scout; William Ferrell was at Glade 
Hollow Fort. 

M^ichael Wood, in making his report to Colonel Preston in 1774, 
after giving a list of those within the bounds of Lick Creek for 
muster, says: 

"Also there is a few men that lives in a String on the other side 
of the River that ever will be unconvenient to any other place to 
Muster at for they would not have above 7 or 8 Miles to a Muster 
here; and if they must go Elsewhere they Most of them Must Go 
15 or 20 Miles to Muster and the names of these is Charles Cava- 
nough, Philimon Cavanough, James Odear, Wm. Cavanough, Senr., 


Samuel Pack, George Pack, Charles Hays, Thos. Parlor, Prancis 
Parlor, John Parlor, Mitchle Clay, and some others that I do not 
know their names. 

"Also I must acquaint you that the most of these men is bad off 
for arms and ammunition and I believe Cannot get them." 

Dunmore's War, page 397. Prom report of Michael Wood, 29th 
Pebruary, 1774. 

The muster rolls of 1774 show names familiar to-day, and who 
have descendants in this region, and none others are attempted to 
be chronicled herein. 

Daniel Smith's Company, Pincastle County : John Kinkeid 
(Kincaide), David Ward, Jas. Scott, Anchelaus Scott, David Kin- 
caide, Benj. Jones, Wm. Neal. 

Michael Wood's Company: Squire Gatlifif, Geo. Sabe, Robert 
Willey, Thomas Willey, Thos. Parley, Prancis Parley, John Parley, 
Mitchel Clay. 

Bank's Company, May 30, 1774: Wellington Adams, Parker 
Adams, John McCartney, Robt.Doceks. June 2, 1774 — Wm. Ward, 
John Maxwell. September 10, 177^1 — Capt. Lewis, John Swope, 
James Ellison, James Charlton, Isaac Wichels, Robt. Bowles, Adam 
Caperton, Hugh Caperton, Mathias Kessinger, Wm. Mann. 

Buford's Company, Volunteers, Bedford County: James Boyd, 
John Cook. 

Stuart's Company : James Pauly, James Kincaide. 

Pauley's Company: Dudley Calloway, Robt. Perrell, Charles 

Shelley's Company: Wm. Brice, wounded. 



The county lines as laid down by the original act of the Legis- 
lature, and set out in a former chapter. There being some question 
as to the line between Monroe and Summers, in 1887 the county 
court, in an irregular manner, undertook to dispose of the same, 
and appointed a commission, composed of William Haynes on the 
part of Summers County, and Monroe County appointed John 
Hinchman its commissioner, who selected James Mann, of Green- 
brier, as an umpire. While these proceedings were irregular, the 
lines as laid out by these commissioners have been adjudicated, 
and are now recognized at this day as the legal lines between those 
two counties. The result of these proceedings was to establish 
the lines as now existing. The action of this commission only 
applied to Monroe County. 

In the year 1894 there was complaint in regard to the uncertainty 
of the county line between Greenbrier and Summers, and John E. 
Harvey, then count}- surveyor of Summers County, was directed 
by an order of the county court, to run the line between Greenbrier 
and Summers, which he did, and from which it was ascertained 
that the lines laid down by the act of the Legislature were not 
those which were recognized between the two counties ; Summers 
not exercising full jurisdiction over all the territory included in the 
formative act. The county court thereupon took steps to have 
the lines between this county and between Monroe and Summers 
settled in the manner provided by statute, and entered an order 
directing the prosecuting attorney, who was the writer at that time, 
to take legal action under the law to have the dispute then exist- 
ing in regard to the location of said lines settled between those 
counties, as well as to have a correct line established. No survey 
of the line having been made since the formation of the county, 
it is doubtful if the line now established as the Summers County 
line between it and Greenbrier had ever been run; but it was 
adopted by protraction by Mr. Hinton. John Cole and Judge Fur- 


geson, during the session of the Legislature when the Act was 
passed creating Summers County. The Hues as laid down in the old 
Legislature included the town of Alderson, in Monroe County, a 
thriving town of some 1,200 people, and the town of North Aider- 
son, Greebrier County, a village of some 500 people; and had Sum- 
mers County succeeded in holding to the territorial limits of the 
Act of the Legislature creating the county, it would now include 
and have jurisdiction over the people of those two towns, as well 
as a considerable territory extending over into the Meadows and 
near the Muddy Creek settlement. 

The claim set up by Summers County stirred up the people 
of the counties of Greenbrier and Monroe, especiallv those parts 
in the disputed territory and in the immediate region thereof, to 
a high degree. Some of the people, however, within the disputed 
territory, and a very considerable proportion, desiring to have their 
allegiance transferred to Summers, by reason of its fair and ju- 
dicious, as well as its economical conduct of municipal affairs, and 
the convenience of getting to the Court House bv rail. Others 
opposed the transfer very vigorously, one ground of opposition 
being a matter of pride in their old counties, in which they had been 
born and reared, and that the municipal affairs of those counties 
were honestly and judiciously administered, all of which were 
matters of just pride. Those outside of the disputed lines, of 
course, objected, as it would decrease the taxable values and in- 
crease the burdens of taxation as to the remaining taxpayers. 

Jas. H. ]\Iiller, then prosecuting attorney, on the 20th day of 
February. 1894, filed a petition and instituted proceedings in the 
County Cotirt of Monroe County, for the settlement of tiic dispute 
and for the appointment of commissioners, and in LS'M j^roceeded 
likewise in the Circuit Court of Greenbrier County. Hon. A. N. 
Campbell was then Judge of this Circuit and of those counties, as 
well as Summers. Messrs. M. Gwinn, J. B. Lavender and M. A. 
Manning were appointed for Summers to settle the line betw.een: 
Summers and Greenbrier; and M. Gwinn, J. B. Lavender and S. K. 
Boude (who died, and M. A. Manning was substituted), as com- 
missioners to adjust the disputes between Summers and Monroe. 
On the part of Monroe, Cornelius Leach and Surveyor McPherson 
were appointed as commissioners, and on the part of Greenbrier, 
Wm. M. Tyree and Samuel Gilmer and Austin r>tirr were ap- 

When it came to the matter of a hearing. Judge C'ampl)cl! de- 
clined to sit in the cases, as he was interested as a taxpayer of Mon- 


roe County, and at his request Hon. A. F. Guthrie, then Judge 
of the Kanawha Circuit, was secured to act in his place. The 
hearing in both cases came on by agreement to be heard at Lewis- 
burg, at which time the petition as to Monroe County was dis- 
missed by the court, and also as to Greenbrier County ; but an ap- 
peal was taken to the Supreme Court of Appeals, which was de- 
cided favorable to Greenbrier and Monroe as to holding that the 
appeal was improperly taken as on points reversing the Circuit 
Court, or rather deciding the case on matters not raised before 
the Circuit Court, or in any of the proceedings, and that commis- 
sioners should be appointed, the Circuit Court having refused to 
appoint commissioners to operate with the commissioners selected 
from Summers. 

Hon. A. B. Fleming, ex-Governor of the State, was agreed upon 
as umpire, and he agreed to serve ; but after waiting for several 
months, his business engagements being such that he had been 
unable to act. an agreement was finally reached between the va- 
rious commissioners and attorneys, by which the Hon. George E. 
Price, an excellent and accomplished attorney of Charleston, West 
Virginia, was agreed upon. And the commissioners finally meet- 
ing at Alderson, the trial of the matters and disputes came 
on to be heard at Alderson in April, 1897. The hearing took 
several days, a number of witnesses being summoned on each 
side. The attorneys representing Summers County in these cases 
were the writer and Mr. T. N. Read, Assistant Prosecuting At- 
torney. The attorneys representing Monroe County were John 
Osborne and Gilmer Patton, Prosecuting Attorney of that county; 
for Greenbrier County, Henry Gilmer, who was Prosecuting At- 
torney at the time of the institution of the proceedings, and had 
associated with him Hon. L. J. Williams, of Lewisburg. Mr. Gil- 
mer having retired from office before the final trial, and being suc- 
ceeded by Hon. J. A. Preston, of Lewisburg, he and Mr. Williams 
represented the interests of Greenbrier County. The Prosecuting 
Attorney of Summers County had, prior to his death, received 
from P. B. Stanard, a young lawyer of Hinton, who had volun- 
teered his services, some assistance. Mr. Read never had thor- 
ough confidence in the success of the undertaking, by reason of 
the long lapse of time; the writer had great confidence therein, and 
believed that Summers County was entitled to the territorial lim- 
its according to the solemn Act of the Legislature establishing the 

After several days occupied in this trial a decision was reached, 


each of the attorneys having argued the case at length. Each of 
the commissioners of Summers County voted in favor of its con- 
tention, and each of the commissioners of Greenl)rier County vot- 
ing in favor of its retaining possession of the disputed territory. 
The umpire decided in favor of Greenbrier County, and held that 
Greenbrier County should retain possession of the disputed ter- 
ritory, and that the line which had been recognized since the for- 
mation of the county, although entirely different from the one laid 
down in the Act of the Legislature, should be and remain as the 
county line between those counties. No further action was taken 
in the Monroe County case, as the decision in the Greenbrier 
County case practically settled both disputes, and there was no 
appeal from the decision of the commissioners. 

This decision may be law, but it is inequitable and unjust. The 
commissioners voted for their respective counties, and the umpire 
decided it. So that Summers County to-day is not occupying all 
of the territory granted to it from Monroe and Greenbrier Coun- 
ties in the Act which created it. However, in running the recog- 
nized line. Summers ganed a narrow strip of additional territory 
between the point at "Wallowhole Mountain" and Greenbrier 
River, and a few residences were cut off to Summers which had 
theretofo.e been recognized as located in Greenbrier County. So 
that Summers, by the loss of this territory, has not now within 
its limits the 400 square miles required by the Constitution ; but 
it has no remedy, as it slept on its rights by permitting the lapse 
of a long period of time between the date of its formation and the 
date of calling the matter in question. Summers County was de- 
feated upon the grounds, as announced by Mr. Price, the final ar- 
bitrator, that the old line having been acquiesced in for a great 
many years. Summers County could not, after this lapse of more 
than twenty years after its formation to the date of the institu- 
tion of the proceedings, come in and take a disputed territory. It 
having recognized the present lines during all those years, could 
not come in and disturb the existing conditions, although the stat- 
ute of limitations was not applicable to the case. There was no 
appeal from this decision, and the matter thus ended. 

The long lapse of time was the one question of which the at- 
torneys for Summers were fearful, and this only defeated us. It 
was only by accident that it was discovered that we did not have 
jurisdiction over our full territory, and this grew out of the un- 
certainty as to where the people in the adjacent recognized lines 
should send their children to school; and it was for that reason 


that Mr. Harvey, the Surveyor, was authorized by the County 
Court to survey the hue between Greenbrier and Summers; and 
in order to locate that Hue properly, it was necessary for him to 
run from New River, on the Fayette County line, to the top of the 
W'allowhole Mountain; thence to Greenbrier River, and thence 
the line between Alonroe and Summers, to the Round Bottom, on 
New River. 

Having gone on a tangent, we will now proceed with the sub- 
ject of this chapter, however, in an irregular and divergent man- 

Summers is almost exclusively an agricultural county; its sur- 
face is mountainous and table-land. The bottom land is largely 
confined to the New River and Greenbrier River valleys, with 
some flat land on the large creeks, there being some very fertile 
and good, productive bottom lands on Lick Creek, in the Green 
Sulphur Springs neighborhood ; also, in the AVolf Creek valley, 
Bradshaw's Run, Indian Creek and Bluestone. The vall-eys are 
narrow, the soil underlaid with sandstone ; there being very little 
limestone in the county, although there is some in the hills near 
Hinton— "bastard" limestone — and some in the Talcott district, 
adjacent to the Monroe County line, and possibly a little in For- 
est Hill. No part of the county can be designated as blue grass 
or limestone territory. 

There is a very fine quarry of sandstone at New Richmond, 
on the John A. Richmond homestead farm, which was developed 
and used by the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad Company for a num- 
ber of years, for which they paid $50.00 per annum royalty to Mr. 
Richmond. The stone was secured from this quarry through Dr. 
Samuel Williams and W. K. Pendleton, which was placed in the 
Washington Monument at Washington, D. C, and which is known 
as the West Virginia stone, upon which is inscribed the following 
patriotic inscription : "Tuum nos sumus monumentum." 

The stone from this quarry was used in the construction of the 
extensive grain elevators at Newport News ; but the quarry has 
been abandoned for the last few years. Two quarries of very fine 
brownstone have been developed in the county, opened up, and a 
considerable amount of stone shipped to foreign markets for com- 
mercial purposes. The stone is very substantial, and is of a beau- 
tiful red brown color. The basement of the brick Methodist 
Church in Hinton, as well as the foundation for the Kanawha Val- 
ley Bank at Charleston, are built of this stone, secured from the 
quarry at Tug Creek. One of these quarries is located on Grif- 


fith's Creek, in the upper end of Talcott district, about two and a 
half or three miles from the town of Alderson, and is owned by the 
Alderson Brownstone Company, a joint stock company, composed 
principally of capitalists residing at Richmond, Virginia. 

Dr. W. L. Barksdale, now of Hinton, then of Alderson, was 
one of the principal promoters of this enterprise, and is still one of 
the principal stockholders and an officer of the company, and 
largely through his and Judge W. G. Hudgins' enterprise the com- 
pany was formed. The stone was transported from the quarry to 
the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad by means of a narrow-gauge 
railroad, laid with steel rails, crossing Greenbrier River by boat, 
on which the cars were run. No business in the way of quarrying 
and shipping stone from this plant has been conducted for sev- 
eral years, the work having been abandoned by reason of the ex- 
pensive transportation facilities, j. D. Crump, Esq., of Richmond, 
Va., was the president of the company, and Mr. Wm. Houseby, 
who still resides on the premises, general manager. T. N. Read, 
Esq., the Hinton attorney, was at one time a clerk for this com- 
pany on Griffith's Creek. 

The other quarry is located about a mile and a half below Hin- 
ton, on the hill above Tug Creek, and is now owned by Mr. M. N. 
Breen. The company which operated it a few years ago was a 
Kentucky joint stock corporation, of which Mr. Charles IMcDon- 
ald, of Covington, Ky., and Mr. Scanlon, of Indiana, and one Mr. 
Thornton, also of Indiana, were the chief owners and promoters. 
They placed in the plant very extensive and expensive machinery 
for quarrying and manufacturing the stone. They operated a saw, 
by which the rough stone was sawed into any desired sizes and 
shapes. The stone was used for building, ornamental sidewalk, 
paving and other purposes in Hinton, but not extensively; the 
principal part of the product being shipped, by way of the Chesa- 
peake & Ohio Railway, to foreign markets in the large cities of the 
United States. The stone was quarried in the rough near the top 
of the hill, and let down Tug Creek by steel tramway or incline 
several hundred yards long, by wire cables operated by steam en- 
gines and drums. 

Mr. Charles McDonald, of Covington, Ky., the principal owner, 
becoming financially invoh^ed, the plant having cost about $75,000, 
the property was sold under legal process for debt and taxes, and 
the lands, consisting of about 100 acres, were purchased by Mr. 
Breen for the nominal sum of $50, and he' is now the owner. Mr. 
R. R. Flanagan, of the city of Hinton, lost about $1,500 by the 


collapse of this enterprise, having become an accommodation en- 
dorser for Mr. McDonald. 

The county is naturally a very rough and broken country, 
mountainous, with high and rocky hills and deep and rough ra- 
vines, with considerable uplands or plateaus; and while the 
count}'' is rough and broken, mountainous and rocky, a very large 
proportion of it is in cultivation, and the inhabitants are scattered 
all over the mountains and hills, steep mountains and hillsides 
being in cultivation, which, to a Western farmer, would seem en- 
tirely impracticable an(i unprofitable. 

The principal products of the soil are Indian corn, wheat, some 
rye, some buckwheat, potatoes, oats and grass. There are no 
developed mines in the county at this time, and no minerals of 
value have been discovered. There is no coal opening in the 
county except on the Flat Top region and on the White Oak 
Mountain, and in proximity to the Raleigh and Mercer County 
lines. There is evidence of coal in this section, and some veins 
have been opened, but not worked. The nearest coal mine in oper- 
ation is at Quinimont, in Fayette County, a distance of some 
twenty-one miles. There is also some coal on the Hump Mountain, 
very high up, near the top. 

There have been two wells drilled in the county prospecting 
for gas and oil — one on Crump's Bottom, which was drilled to a 
depth of about 3,000 feet, and in which gas was found in consid- 
erable quantities. The well was drilled by Philadelphia and Penn- 
sylvania capitalists, who owned it, and it has been plugged ever 
since its completion, which was some fifteen years ago. The other 
well was drilled on Rifife's Bottom, on the farm of the Hon. M. M. 
Warren, to a depth of 2,100 feet. This well was drilled by a local 
joint stock company, of which Mr. Warren was the president, and 
Jas. H. Miller was secretary and treasurer. A contract was made 
with a man by the name of Caverly to place the well at $1.45 a 
foot. Caverly went down to the depth of about 2,000 feet, 
and becoming dissatisfied with his contract, although he had been 
paid all that was due him, he surreptitiously filled the hole with 
scrap iron and left the country, and has never been heard of from 
that time. It was the intention of the projectors to drill the well 
3,000 feet. Additional money was raised and a new contractor se- 
cured, who spent some $2,000 in attempting to clear out the whole 
so as to proceed with the work. He never succeeded, and the 
hole was abandoned and the machinery sold out under a deed of 
trust. In drilling this well, fine sulphur water, similar to the 


Pence's Spring sulphur water, was discovered, and also some gas; 
but, so far as the interested parties know, there were no indications 
of oil. This sulphur spring is intermittent, flowing between cer- 
tain hours each day. 

There is what is called a "burning spring" on Madam's Creek, 
about two miles from Hinton, and also one on Beach Run, about 
one mile from Hinton. Experts claim that the indications are fa- 
vorable for the discovery of oil and gas in this county, but none 
has to this time been found for utility purposes. At these two 
burning springs, when the water is cleaned out, the gas will burn 
by igniting it with a lighted match. One of the burning springs 
is now owned by Dr. J. F. Bigony — that on Madam's Creek. It is 
located near the old J. J. Charlton Mill ; and the other is on the land 
of Benton and John W. Parker. 

The principal mountains of Summers County are Keeney's 
Knob, which is a spur of the Allegheny Mountains, and was named 
after David Keeney, who settled at its base, and its top was the 
county line between Greenbrier and Monroe before the separation. 
The highest point on this mountain is on the county line between 
Summers and Greenbrier, and known as "Stinson's Knob" (the 
correct name being Stevenson's Knob, it being thus named after 
an early settler near Clayton, by the name of Stevenson). 

The next highest point is known as the Elk Knob, about nine 
miles from Hinton Court House, and is 2,.S00 feet above the level 
of the sea. Here lives Peter Wyant, a prosperous farmer. 

New River was a few years ago a fine fishing stream, and was 
celebrated for its "New River cat," of which there are none better, 
and the water therein was clear ; but for the past ten years it has 
lost its prestige as a fishing stream by reason of its waters becom- 
ing always of a muddy, murky color, caused by the washing of 
iron ore in its waters or tributaries in Virginia, and without the 
jurisdiction of this commonwealth. State legislative action has 
been taken to enjoin the destruction of this stream, as well as 
Congressional ; but no efforts have been successful, so far, and its 
waters remain unrestored to their original purity. Large catfish 
are yet occasionally caught weighing thirty to forty pounds. 

Greenbrier River was named by John Lewis, the father of Gen- 
eral Andrew Lewis, who, in company with his son Andrew, while 
exploring the country in 1751, entangled himself in a bunch of 
green briers on the river margin, and he then decided that he would 
ever after call the stream "Greenbrier River." Greenbrier River 
runs through the county from the Monroe and Greenbrier lines 


below Alderson to Hinton, a distance of eighteen miles. The prin- 
cipal town on this river in this county is Talcott, a village of about 
300 population. 

Big Bluestone is the next largest stream, which flows into New 
River six miles south of Hinton. It is a rough mountain stream 
of considerable size, large enough for floating logs during fresh- 
ets, but not more than half the size of Greenbrier. On this stream 
was located the famous old water mill of Mr. Levi ]\I. Neely, once 
owned by the Crumps. It is a burrh mill, with old-fashioned bolting 
clothes, and grinds the year around. Mr. Neely has been the 
miller for many years, and before he became the half-owner with 
ex-Sheriff W. S. Lilly, and is very popular with the people in that 
region. The mill has a large custom, by reason of its being able 
to run and grind the year around, the dry season not affecting it. 
We are unable to give the date of the construction of this old land- 
mark, but it was many years before the war. At the head of this 
river are great coal deposits and operations in Mercer County. 

Bluestone runs from the Mercer County line through the county 
to New, River, probably fifteen or twenty miles. A railroad was 
about thirty years ago surveyed up this river, but abandoned. 
There is some talk of a branch of the Deepwater coming down 
that stream, but no surveys have been made to its mouth. 

About 1876, William James, of Pennsylvania, who afterwards 
became a citizen of this county, constriicted an extensive boom 
and dam at the Charles Clark place, just above the mouth of Blue- 
stone. After using them for a number of years they were aban- 
doned and permitted to decay, as they moved their works down the 
river, and no indications now exist to show of the once enterprises 
being conducted there. A thriving industry at one time was car- 
ried on at the mouth of Bluestone. in the shipment of lumber, to- 
bacco, etc., all of which have been abandoned. 

Tom's Run empties into New River at the west end of Crump's 
Bottom, at the foot of Shockley's Hill. Lick Creek and Island 
Creek are the two principal streams in the upper end of Pipestem 
district, on which there are located good farms. The mouth of 
Lick Creek has been the site of mercantile establishments for forty 
or fifty years, principally conducted by Anderson Shumate, the fa- 
ther of the Hon. B. P. Shumate, then by his son Rufus H., and 
later by another son, Hon. B. P. Shumate, who owns the property 
and conducts a business at that point. Squire J. C. Peters con- 
ducted a store for the Shumates at that point for a number of 
years, and Jos. M. Meador, the present clerk of the County Court,. 


was merchandising at that place at the time of the election of J. 
M. Ayres as clerk of the County Court, when he became his dep- 
uty. He was merchandising in partnership with his uncle, B. P. 
Shumate. The name of the postofifice is Mercer Salt Works, named 
after the old salt-producing works of that name, a short distance 
from the river, which were destroyed and abandoned soon after 
"the war of the rebellion." Another postoffice was established 
some few years ago, some three miles from Mercer Salt Works, 
on the Lick Creek Hills, by the name of Tophet, which name would 
indicate a hot country. The Pipestem Creek empties into Blue- 
stone at its mouth, and extends back into the district, the head 
being a short distance from Pipestem Postofifice, the residence of 
Hon. B. P. Shumate. 

The principal streams in Forest Hill district are Indian Creek 
and Bradshaw's Run. Indian Creek runs into New River oppo- 
site Crump's Bottom, and on which are situated Indian Mills Post- 
ofifice and Junta, Junta being at the mouth, and Indian Mills two 
miles and a half therefrom, at which are located two fine mer- 
chant grist mills. Bradshaw's Run empties into Indian Creek at 
Indian Mills Postofifice. Wolf Creek empties into Greenbrier River, 
and forms the district lines between Forest Hill and Greenbrier. 
Tom's Run also empties into the Greenbrier below the present resi- 
dence of the county surveyor, Andrew L. Campbell, as does also 
"Dog Trot." 

In Green Sulphur district the principal streams are Lick Creek, 
which heads in Keeney's Mountain, at a great spring, and is about 
fifteen miles long, and on which are located some of the best farms 
in the county, and the Green Sulphur Springs, Eleber Spring, which 
was once a famous bufifalo lick. This section was entirely settled 
by the Millers, Duncans, Withrows and Gwinns, more than 100 
years ago. Its principal tributaries are Mill Creek, on which the 
Hutchinson Mill is situated, and Slater's Fork and Flag Fork, 
these two latter emptying into Lick Creek at the old John Miller 
homestead. Slater's Creek is named after a man liy the name of 
Slater, who settled in that region more than 100 years ago, but left 
no descendants, nor have we any traditions regarding him. 

Meadow Creek empties into New River about a half a mile 
above the Fayette County line. The Fayette line is now marked 
by a post painted white, the county line there calling to run from 
New River through the Goddard house. The old Goddard house 
has long since been destroyed, but the remains of a stone chimney 


designate its location. Laurel Creek empties into New River a 
mile below the falls, and has its source in Keeney's Knob. 

Summers County territory includes the whole of New River, 
and extends to the banks on the opposite or Raleigh side. Big 
Creek and Rowley's Creek are tributaries of the Greenbrier, and 
empty into it about five miles above its mouth. Little Bluestone 
River is a tributary of Big Bluestone, and heads in the Flat Top 
Mountains. It empties into Big Bluestone some four miles from 
its mouth, and is a small stream, about the size of Lick Creek. 
Laurel Creek is in Green Sulphur district, and heads near the top 
of Keeney's Mountain. It is a very rough, turbulent stream, nearly 
equal in size to Lick Creek. The Laurel Creek valley is a narrow 
valley, settled by farmers, the Dicks being the earliest settlers. 
The principal incident of historical importance was the drowning 
therein of a man during the war by the name of Adkins. 

Captain Lorenzo D. Garten's company of Home Guards, an 
irregular organization of State troops, made an excursion during 
the war into the Chestnut Mountain country, ransacked the farm 
of Mr. L. M. Alderson, and others who lived on the mountain be- 
tween Lick Creek and Laurel Creek, in a low gap, carried away his 
horses, grain, bacon, bed clothes, overcoat, etc., as well as that of 
other farmers — Mr. Alderson being a rebel sympathizer. And on 
the return of these warriors, this man got on a horse behind 'Squire 
John Buckland, and undertook to ford Laurel Creek, the creek 
being out of its banks and unusually high from hard rains. The 
load being too much for the horse, he went down, and when he re- 
appeared one of the riders had washed off and was drowned. 

There is situate within this county numerous sulphur springs 
and mineral springs. On Beech Run, near Hinton, is a fine alum 
spring, from which water has been taken for many miles, and is 
used for medicinal purposes. There is situate on the Elk Knob 
Mountain, on the farm of Clark Grimmett, a fine alum spring, 
from which he carries water to Hinton for the market. 

The celebrated Green Sulphur Spring is situated on Lick Creek, 
at the junction of Mill Creek Fork with that stream, and is owned 
by Mr. Harrison Gwinn. In the first settlement of that section, 
more than 100 years ago, the place where that spring is located 
was celebrated as a lick for deer, buffalo and elk. After the prop- 
erty came into the ownership of Ephraim J. Gwinn, the father of 
Harrison Gwinn, he undertook to drill for salt, believing that there 
was salt under the surface, which he proceeded to do with an old- 
fashioned process about eighty years ago, using what is known as a 


windlass. The process was very slow, but after proceeding indus- 
triously and persistently for a number of months, instead of strik- 
ing salt, he struck a fine stream of sulphur water, sixty-five feet 
below the surface. About twenty feet was through the soil, after 
which he struck, in drilling, hard sandstone. Into this hole, which 
was made some three feet in diameter, he sunk a large hollow syca- 
more tree, connecting with the hole through the rock, and the 
water comes through that tree to the surface, over which a stone 
basin has been erected. This tree has remained intact to the pres- 
ent time, and no doubt will remain until eternity. A piece of the 
timber taken from the bottom of this well in 1907 shows it to be 
as sound and harder than when placed there eighty years ago. 

Kesler's Sulphur Spring is a late discovery by B. L. Kesler, 
who secured fine sulphur water by drilling sixty feet at Lowell, 
on the old Wilson Lively place, near the C. & O. Ry. It is very 
strong of sulphur, and is celebrated wherever it has been intro- 
duced, quite a quantity now being shipped in bottles, and is being 
drank for medicinal benefits. The place has never been exploited, 
and no effort made to introduce it. 

The most celebrated spring in the county is the sulphur spring 
known as Pence's Spring, formerly BuiTalo Spring, which is a fine 
sulphur water; and a great number of guests visit the place each 
year for pleasure, recreation and recuperative purposes. This spring 
was known from the first settlement of that region, more than 100 
years ago, and was then the resort for wild animals — bufTalos, elk 
and deer — no attempt being made to advertise it until it came into 
the possession of Mr. A. P. Pence, who built, a few years ago. a 
commodious hotel, which is crowded every summer to its utmost 
capacity. This spring is owned by Mr. A. P. Pence. The tract of 
land on which it is situate contains 283 acres. Another hotel was 
erected in 1904, in the immediate neighborhood, by Messrs. Car- 
ney & Blair, two Charleston gentlemen, who drilled wells, 
which interfered with the flow of the water into the spring 
of Mr. Pence. Legal proceedings were resorted to, an injunction 
secured, which was recently determined by the Supreme Court of 
West Virginia, that the waters of that spring are waters percolating 
through the soil, and that adjacent land-owners have the right to 
drill wells on their own land and use the water therefrom for ordi- 
nary use and purposes, but not to interfere with the flow of the 
Pence Springs by extraordinary use of the water, or its use for 
unnecessary purposes. A second injunction was secured by Mr. 
Pence in 1907, and the suit is now pending. 


Large quantities of this water are now being shipped to foreign 
cities and markets, it having peculiar curative powers for certain 
diseases, especially of the stomach and kidneys. It is situate about 
a quarter of a mile from Greenbrier River, near Pence Springs Sta- 
tion, on the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway, three miles from Lowell, 
and from the old settlement of Col. James Graham, made about the 
year 1770. 

The next most celebrated spring is that formerly known as 
Barger's Spring, after a former owner, Wm. H. Barger, the father 
of our townsman, the merchant, W. A. Barger. It is now owned 
by a joint stock company, incorporated as the Greenbrier Springs 
Company, purchased in 1903. In 1904 they constructed a 25-room, 
three-story frame hotel, which during the season of 1904 was well 
filled. A number of the stockholders, including Messrs. J. H. Jor- 
dan, H. Ewart, Jas. H. Aliller, A. E. Miller, T. N. Read, R. R. 
Flanagan, A. G. Flanagan, W. J. Brightwell, E. W. Taylor and 
W. L. Barksdale, have erected cottages on lots purchased by them, 
where they spend a portion of the summer. Thirty-two lots have 
been sold, to this time, to individuals. 

It is a beautiful location, immediately on Greenbrier River, 
near the famous Stony Creek Gorge, where Little and Big Stony 
Creeks empty into Greenbrier River, near the turn immediately in 
the rear of the Big Bend Tunnel, and at the base of the Big Bend 
Tunnel Mountain, and on which is situate the celebrated Turnhole. 
Stony Creek Gorge can not be excelled for the wildness of its natu- 
ral scenery. There is located a very high, steep, perpendicular 
clilT at the point between Stony Creek and the river ; at the point 
of the cliff has grown a rugged, knotty pine tree. Many years ago 
a horse-thief, whose name has escaped the memory of the writer, 
had stolen a horse from some one in the region, and on being pur- 
sued by the neighbors, came to the mouth of Stony Creek, and 
being in great apprehension of capture, abandoned his horse, 
climbed up this tree, scaled the clifif, and, reaching its top, made 
his escape. The pursuers recovered the horse, but were unable 
to overtake the thief, not being so agile as to undertake to scale 
the perpendicular clifif by so dangerous and precipitous a route. 
There is at this spring a beautiful stretch of water for boating, 
with two islands in midstream and a natural cave, which has been 
explored for some distance. This will in a few years, no doubt, 
be one of the celebrated pleasure resorts of this section of the 


This property was the home of the Gardens, the father of 
Messrs. John M., I. G. and Allen Garden having owned the prop- 
erty many years ago, and upon which they were raised, it passing 
from the hands of these gentlemen into the hands of Wm. H. Bar- 
ger, then into the hands of the present owner. There is situate 
on the premises an old residence building — a log house — which is 
more than 107 years old. It is two-story, with an old-fashioned 
stone chimney at least eight feet wide, with a fireplace in the up- 
per story, and a wooden log arch of hickory wood. 

There is another sulphur spring within two miles of the Green- 
brier Springs, known as the Lindeman Spring, formerly owned by 
Dr. Eber W. Maddy, an old-fashioned dentist. The property is 
unimproved. There is also a sulphur spring in the upper end of 
the county, in Pipestem district, near the mouth of Island Greek, 
on the old Reed plantation. 

The Richmond Falls, situate sixteen miles west of Hinton, on 
New River, is one of the famous natural scenes of this country. 
The perpendicular fall of New River over these rocks is fifteen 
feet, and is immediately on the Ghesapeake & Ohio Railway. The 
Raleigh side, with sixty acres of ground, was purchased by a gen- 
tleman residing in Philadelphia in 1872, for which he paid Mrs. 
Richmond, the widow of Samuel Richmond, deceased, and her two 
sons, Allen and "Tuck," the sum of $15,000 in gold. At that time 
there was located on the property an old water mill, the house of 
which was built of hewn logs, and the log farm house. All the 
property has gone into disuse, and the gentleman who owns it has 
made no improvements thereon since his purchase, nor has he been 
disposed to part with the property, being a man of much wealth. 
The opposite shore or part of the falls is now owned by the same 
company which is operating the electric manufacturing, plant at 
the Kanawha Falls, utilizing the water power therefrom, headed 
by Mr. J. Motley Morehead, a capitalist from North Garolina.. 
These gentlemen purchased this property some three or four years 
ago, with the view of establishing a manufacturing plant ; but being 
unable to secure satisfactory transportation facilities, and not being 
able to acquire the opposite shore, they abandoned the project and 
went to Kanawha Falls. 

In constructing the Ghesapeake & Ohio Railroad, materials were 
brought down Greenbrier River from the nearest accessible point 
on the river, from White Sulphur Springs, in batteaux, a channel 


having been made down the Greenbrier River. These batteaux 
also plied down New River, the materials having to be unloaded 
from the boats above the falls, and re-loaded below. Before the 
construction of this great railroad, all merchandise was hauled by 
wagons and teams from the head of navigation on the Kanawha 
River, or from the Eastern markets from Buchannon, after the 
completion of the James River and Kanawha Canal, or from Staun- 
ton, Virginia. The writer can remember when the goods brought 
into Lick Creek or Green Sulphur Springs were hauled first from 
Kanawha Falls, a distance of seventy-five miles ; and later when 
the railroad was completed to White Sulphur, they were hauled 
by wagons from that point, a distance of thirty-five miles. 

A small box of matches of about 100, in those days, which was 
about 1870, would cost ten cents; now you can get double the 
number of matches for a penny. A barrel of salt cost $9.00; now, 
$2.50 is a good price. Nearly all of the wearing apparel was manu- 
factured on the farms. The old-fashioned looms for weaving cloth, 
and spinning wheels for spinning the thread were still in use ; the 
flax being skutched with skutching knives made from wood, some- 
what in the shape of a two-edged sword, with a board driven into 
the ground and the wool carded by wooden pads, with wires fas- 
tened into them. 

All meal and flour was ground by water grist mills, usually one- 
story log houses, with large overshot or undershot wheels, run al- 
together by water conveyed by a mill-race from a log dam con- 
structed across some stream. For many years after the settlement 
of this region there were no sawmills. All lumber and building 
material was sawed with a "whipsaw" or hewed with the broad 
axe. Later, water sawmills were built with the upright saw, and 
not until about 1874 or 1875 was there such a thing known in all 
the region as a steam saw or steam grist mill. There were, in the 
early days but two mills in the Green Sulphur District ; one, the 
old A. J. Smith mill, which later was known as Hutchinson's Mill, 
which ground corn and wheat and had a bolting cloth — a two-story 
house on Mill Fork of Lick Creek. The other was that of Samuel 
H. Withrow, a one-story log house, and ground only corn when the 
creek was not low in water, and the people for miles around came 
to these mills. The carding machines and water mills are things 
of the past. 

There is on Hunghart's Creek a perpendicular fall of thirty feet ; 
near its head, not far from what is knov/n as Spice Spring, a fine 


spring of chalybeate water, which is visited by many people anxious 
to see natural curiosities. 

There was a fort on Wolf Creek, known as Jarrett Fort, in which 
John Alderson, the pioneer Baptist preacher of this state, sheltered 
himself from the Indians when he first visited this country. 

At the falls of Griffith's Creek, which are fourteen feet perpen- 
dicular, there is a petrified root, which is a curiosity in that neigh- 
borhood. The shale has worn out by the fall of the water, expos- 
ing this apparently at one time the root of a tree. There are at 
dift'erent parts of it many pieces of glistening stone which have the 
appearance of eyes. 

John H. Ballangee. a few years ago, found a large vessel on 
Keeney's Knob made of some kind of earth and hardened, which 
was evidently used by some ancient race. It is something like a 
basin eight or ten inches in diameter, now in the hands of Luther 
S. Graham, of Hinton. 

Postage in the early days, and within the recollection of men 
now living, was twenty-five cents for a single letter, and all postage 
was paid at the receiving office by the person receiving the letter. 
The nearest post office from Green Sulphur and Lick Creek was 
Lewisburg, a distance of twenty-five miles; afterwards, and until 
about the time of the war, the nearest post office for that region 
was Blue Sulphur Springs, some fifteen miles. The nearest post 
office to the Clayton neighborhood, where the Grahams settled, 
was Union, a distance of about twenty-five miles. Afterwards 
the post office at Palestine, on Muddy Creek, was established, some 
six or seven miles away, which remained the post office until the 
establishment of Alderson, and, finally, a post office at Clayton. 

David Graham, in the year 1843, made a trip on horseback to 
the Big Sandy country, in Kentucky, to visit his cousin. There 
were no roads, and only bridle paths to follow. He went by the 
way of Beckley, through Wyoming and Logan, staying all night 
with William Hinchman, a son of the English settler at Lowell, 
who was born in 1770, and who was then the assessor for the region 
of country west of the New River, his territory extending from 
Logan to New River. It took Mr. Graham five days to make the 
trip, passing down Pigeon Creek to Tug River, and visiting his 
aunt on that stream 

Another stream of historical importance is Joshua's Run. a 
small stream flowing into New River at Culbertson's Bottoms. It 
is mentioned in the early history of the New River settlements as 


where one of the forts was erected, and which was attacked by 
Indian savages. 

Bradshaw's Run, in Forest Hill District, which empties into 
Indian Creek at Indian Mills, was named after the Englishman 
who settled in a cabin on the present site of Thomas G. Lowe's 
residence. He was killed by the Indians near where he lived. 

Cave Ridge, in Jumping Branch District, received its name 
from the making of salt petre in a cave in said ridge in the early 
days. The cave passes from one side through the ridge, and the 
smoke made at one end of the cave would pass out at the other 
end. passing entirely through the mountain. 

Bull Falls, the rapids at the lower end of Crump's Bottom, re- 
ceived its name from a bull swimming over the falls without being 
drowned. This falls has valuable water power, and has recently 
been purchased by Dr. J. A. Fox, of Hinton, for water power pro- 
ducing purposes, it being expected to utilize this power in the pro- 
duction of electricity for the operation of an electric railway be- 
tween Hinton and the Norfolk & Western Railway. 

James Gwinn was the first white child born in Monroe County,, 
and in what is now Summers, after the massacre at the Levels. 
He died in sight of where his wife was born, on Lick Creek, Janu- 
ary 17, 1804. He raised twelve children. 

Ephraim J. Gwinn and wife, Rachel Keller, were born at Gra- 
ham's Ferry (at Lowell). He was born January 14, 1799. She 
was born August 13. 1803. They were married April 11, 1822. 
He traveled overland to Wayne County, Iowa, and purchased land 
for his children to settle on, except two — H. and M. — who retained 
the Lick Creek farm, and one daughter, who married Wm. T. 
Meador, the first president of the County Court of Summers County 
elected by the people. 

On Kishner's Run is situated the famous Chimney Rock, some 
twenty feet high. On Suck Creek, in Jumping Branch District, 
there are two of these famous rocks known as the Chimney Rocks. 


The ice cave on Jumping Branch Creek is one of the wonders 
of Summers County. It is situated in a dense pine forest on Jump- 
ing Branch, between that village and Little Blue Stone. The per- 
sons who were familiar with it in earlier days of the county report 
that ice was found in abundance in mid-summer in the hot days, 
and the atmosphere cold. It was visited by numerous picnic par- 


ties, and was a place of celebrity, but in later years the pine forests 
were destroyed, and with it the ice cave. It did not seem to be a 
cave really, but was at the rapids and roughs of the branch in the 
dense forest where the sun never penetrated, and ice accumulated 
there in the winter time and remained there in the summer. 

Near the head of Hungart's Creek, at a place known as the 
"Bear Hole," flat, there are indications of great natural convulsions 
ages ago; the solid rocks were severed 300 feet long and fifty feet 
perpendicular. The rocks stand thus ajar and apart with a space 
of two feet between them. 

The Stony Creek Gorge shows like evidence of great natural 
convulsions, as do a great many other places on the surface of the 
rough and mountainous territory of the county, occurring ages in 
the past, in the formation of the surface of the earth. Evidence of 
these convulsions is at the mouth of Laurel Creek and near the 
mouth of Lick Creek, showing the parting of the great cliflfs, as do 
places at different points on New and Greenbrier Rivers and in 
the mountains and great hills by which the county is largely cov- 

Hungart's Creek was named for the first settler whose identity, 
like others of the oldest pioneers, has been lost. Among the first 
settlers in that region was Mathew Kincaid, Moses Hedrick and 
James Boon, descendants of whom are still living, scattered 
throughout that region. Kincaid owned the lands where Green L. 
Scott now lives ; also the John Willy farm and the Z. A. Woodson 
farm at the mouth of Hungart's Creek. Moses Hedrick sold and 
purchased from Kincaid the Scott place, and James K. Scott from 
Hedrick. The Miller farm was purchased from Kincaid by Mathew 
Lowe, and by him sold to A. J. Miller, and through him acquired 
by Mr. Willy. The Woodson place, a part of which Talcott is 
located on, and involved in the great "Talcott-Karnes' Case," was 
purchased from Kincaid, and James Boon occupied the upper left 
hand fork of the creek (Boon). John Boon, Andy Boon and Floyd 
Boon, sons of James, still live around there. James M. Boon and 
Hugh Boon are half brothers of John and the other boys. J. M. 
Boon now lives at "Woodrum Town." near Wiggins. He was one of 
the pioneer saloonkeepers at Talcott. but quit the business a long 
time ago. Hugh Boon was. in his younger days, a great hunter, 
and in the "days of the deer" in this region, killed tlioni in great 
numbers, killing four in a day. He still hunted with an old-fash- 
ioned mountain rifle, dressed himself in a white suit, or fastened a 
sheet of white cloth over his bodv and walked through the moun- 


tains, dressed in white like the snow, so that he could get in good 
range of the deer, and in this way killed them in great numbers, 
until they were all destroyed. 

Taylor's Ridge, which runs down to the fork of Hungart's Creek, 
is named after a pioneer settler thereon by the name of Taylor, of 
whom now there is no detailed tradition. Another old family on 
that mountain was Chris Dubois, of French descent, who lived at 
the top of the Ridge. This was probably Natlifif Taylor who first 
settled on the Milburn Bottoms on Greenbrier River. 

Between the years 1769 and 1774 settlements were made by the 
Cooks in the Valley of Virginia on Indian Creek, one of their num- 
ber, John, being killed by the Indians; the Woods, on Rich Creek; 
the Grahams, on the Greenbrier; Keeneys, near Keeney's Knob. 
Wood's Fort was on Rich Creek on the farm owned by the family 
of John W. Karnes, four miles east of the present town of Peters- 
town in the county of Monroe. Snidow's Fort was in the upper end 
of the Horseshoe Farm on New River in what is now Giles County. 
The Hatfields built Hatfield's Fort on Big Stony Creek in the now 
county of Giles on the farm of J. L. Snidow. Richard Bailey, the 
son of the settler, in 1790, made the first settlement at the mouth 
of Widemouth Creek, on the Bluestone, a few miles above the Clay 
settlement, made in 1775. 

These men who first settled west of the Allegheny Mountains 
gave. up the hope of wealth and abandoned ambition. They aban- 
doned the pomp and circumstance of other conceivable fame. There 
was no evidence in that day of the great business concerns, the 
exposure of so much meanness and unfairness among the corpora- 
tions and captains of industry, the bitterness and woe of oppres- 
sion, the desperation of despair wrought by untrue methods of 
business. It is restful and good to turn from all of that and con- 
template the career of these people. 


TB£ x^ 




The men who first settled this region came from the East, be- 
yond the Allegheny Mountains. They are among those who head 
the list for civilization, defiant of all the terrors, hardships and 
dangers that savage men and savage conditions could send against 
them, and never a helping hand did they ask from the federal 
government. Now the great barons of finance and civilization rely 
upon, depend upon and secure their support and protection by a 
constant appeal to government. 

Traders, trappers and hunters came and went ; individual daring, 
the spirit of adventure, the craving for excitement and the greed for 
gain forced the secrets of the wilderness, and gradually they spread 
i^mong the people of the eastern and older communities a knowledge 
of the wonderful country west of the Alleghenies. 

The Horseshoe Knights of Virginia, who rode gallantly in the 
train of the imperial Governor Spottswood to the summit of the 
Alleghenies, and gazed from those heights westward upon the un- 
explored wilderness beyond, were thought to have done a notable 
deed. It was boasted of as the mariner of ancient times boasted 
of having carried his ship beyond the Pillars of Hercules, and for 
which he was rewarded by knighthood by his royal sovereign. 

The passes over the Blue Ridge and the Alleghenies are as 
prosaic nowadays as are the Straits of Gibraltar, but for many years 
after the golden spires of the Virginia-Carolinas had grown old, a 
veil of mystery and the spell of danger hung over the mountain 
ranges which separated the seaboard colonies from these western 
lands. The adventurers and pioneers were usually of that hardy 
stock who had emigrated from foreign lands beyond the sea, seek- 
ing personal and religious liberty. In those days it was the build- 
ing of a republic by the lovers of liberty. Congress had not then 
broken through the bands of the Constitution ; the miners and 
sappers of that Constitution had not then begun their work; monop- 
olies had not then been fostered ; personal lil)erty had not then been 


curtailed; "government by injunction" had not been invented; the 
Philippine Islands had not been seized ; crown dependencies had 
not been secured, such as Porto Rico, and their subjection patterned 
after the laws that ruled the American colonies by Great Britain, 
prior to 1776; even sporadic assaults upon the principles of liberty 
had not then begun. The federal courts had not then commenced 
the incessant and silent deposits about the foundations of liberty, 
the bloody soil of monarchy, as now claimed by those who say they 
are building spires and minarets upon the Grecian temples of the 
Republic — that its walls have been disfigured, and that a moat has 
been dug about its entrances and fitted with secret passages and 
traps, and constructed cells below ground to complete its terrors. 
Our forefathers dreamed a practical, real Utopian dream of liberty 
and equality, when all men should have an equal chance in life, 
and for that the pioneers laid the foundations of an unequaled civi- 
lization on the face of the earth. They dreamed not of the coming 
of the trusts, of the soulless corporations, the monopolies, of their 
aggressions by a fostering government, which, if permission be 
continued, will eventually invest all of the "reserve powers" of the 
government in the President. They believed that with liberty and 
equality the common man could live, and the able man could grow 
honestly rich. They treated liberty not as a formula, but as an 
actual thing; they treated the laws to be obeyed, and not to be 

The pioneers of this region were honest. God-fearing settlers, 
as is evidenced from all history, tradition and knowledge obtain- 
able, teaching those who followed them to follow in their own 
footsteps. There is scarcely a section or a neighborhood in this 
county wherein there are not descendants of these pioneers, and 
stronger or more loyal minds do not exist on the earth. 

It is impossible at this date and time to procure the names, his- 
tory or tradition of all, and possibly not nearly all of the frontiers- 
men who first located and settled in the sections of the territory 
now included in this municipality. 

The best that can be done is to preserve to posterity the names of 
such as are ascertainable at this late da}', more than one hundred 
years having intervened since the foundations were laid by civilized 
men in this part of the country west of the Alleghenj Mountains. 
On Lick Creek, in Green Sulphur District, Curtis Alderson, Samuel 
and Robert Withrow, John and Robert Miller, Samuel Gwinn. John 
Duncan and John Hicks were among the earliest. On Laurel Creek. 
David, Joseph and John Dick, Joseph Bragg and James Cales. The 


Dicks, who settled on the immediate head of Laurel Creek, were 
from Wolf Creek Mountain, and were brothers of the wife of James 
Cales. There are descendants of each of these pioneers still re- 
siding on these creeks, though many have gone on west as civili- 
zation has advanced in that direction. On Grifftth Creek and in 
Talcott District, Thomas Grilifith, Joseph Graham and Stevenson 
were among the pioneers. On the Greenbrier River, Isaac Bal- 
lengee, Wm. Ferrell, Conrad Keller, James Graham, Samuel Gwinn, 
Jessie Beard, Jeptha Massey, Wm. Hinchman, Kincaid, Meadows. 
Rollyson and Fluke. On Little Wolf Creek Richard Woodrum 
early located. His son John married a daughter of Green Meador, 
of Bluestone. The descendants of the first settlers on Little Wolf 
Creek were John Woodrum, the father of Maj. Richard Woodrum 
and Harrison Woodrum, and the grandfather of C. L. and John 
Woodrum. On the Wolf Creek Mountain James Cales, a Virginian, 
located. His wife was a Dick, and he was the father of Archibald 
and James Cales and the grandfather of James and Archibald Cales, 
two of the worthy citizens now residing in that section. The Cooks, 
Parleys, Hughes and Ellisons, of Pipestem ; the Lillys and Mead- 
ows, of Jumping Branch; Ellisons and Packs, of New River region. 

The earliest land grant of which we have knowledge was for a 
tract of land in this neighborhood, which was issued by Thomas 
Jefferson in 1781. The claim for this patent was laid in 1772, four 
years before the date of the Declaration of Independence. The 
first settlers of the Pipestem in New River country were the Cooks, 
Parleys, Packs and Bartons ; in the Bluestone and Jumping Branch 
country, the Meadows, the Lillys, the Hughes and Ellisons are the 
first known to history. 

William Graham, an uncle of David Graham, first settled on 
what is now known as Rifife's Bottoms, Colonel James Graham hav- 
ing first obtained patent for 400 acres. This fine bottom was 
acquired many years ago by David M. Riffe, a well-to-do farmer, 
one of his sons, Thomas Riife, still owning a part of it, on which 
he resides. Another son of D. M. Riffe resides in Hinton — Jake 
A. Riffe, the founder, principal stockholder and general manager 
of the Hinton Department Company. He has been a merchant in 
Hinton for twenty-five years, and is one of the enterprising citizens 
of that town. M. A. Riffe, another brother, resides at Roanoke. 
Virginia, as does also Dr. A. L. Riffe. another brother. Another 
brother. Dr. J. W. Riffe, resides in Greenfield, Indiana. 

The town of Talcott is built on land at one time owned by 
Mathew Kincaid, whose wife inherited it as a descendant of the 


Grahams. Griffith Meadows married one of his daughters. The 
Kincaid tract included a large boundary extending to the Graham 
settlement at Lowell. C. S. Rollyson owned a large boundary of 
land on the Big Bend Tunnel Mountain. Another of the old settlers 
was Michael Kaylor, on the Hump Mountain, which included a 
large boundary of the valuable land in that region where located. 
William and Lewis Gwinn owned large and valuable boundaries of 
land on New River, between Lick Creek and Meadow Creek. David 
Bowles also owned land on Hump Mountain. John B. Walker and 
William Dunbar early settled on the top of Swell Mountain, be- 
tween Laurel and Lick Creeks. Isaac Milburn early took up the 
valuable lands on the Greenbrier River, having married a daughter 
of Nortlifif Taylor, below the mouth of Little W^olf Creek, where his 
descendants, Henry and Isaac, still reside. James Boyd owned land 
on Greenbrier River once owned by Charles and John Maddy, at 
the west portal of the Big Bend Tunnel, where his son, Benjamin 
Boyd, now resides. James Boyd was of a [Monroe family, and 
married a daughter of William Pack. Thomas and Charles Gatlifif. 
Frenchmen, were early settlers on New River. The Crump's Bot- 
tom was owned by a man by the name of Culbertson. and then by 
a man by the name of Reed, prior to the Crumps, Pattersons on 
Patterson Mountain ; Bradshaws on Bradshaw's Run, in Forest 
Hill ; Richmonds at New River Falls : Gardens at Barger Springs ; 
Grimmetts on Grimmett's Mountain ; Bucklands on Big Creek and 
Rowley's Creek. 

There were in the very earliest days families of Gills and Adkins. 
who inhabited the Laurel Creek. Chestnut Mountain, and around 
the mouth of Greenbrier, whose descendants still inhabit that 
country, who thrived and lived principally from natural sources, and 
are principally known for inoffensive thriftlessness. Life has be- 
come harder as civilization, progresses, and the livelihood not 
obtainable from the forests and streams, the resources now requiring 
manual labor and intellectual activity. They seem to have mar- 
ried and inter-married without advancement — a harmless, shiftless 
race of people, with plenty of intellect unexerted and but little 
advancement has been made for generations. The old patriarch. 
John Gill, aged about ninety years, died some three years ago, a 
county charge. 

Mathew Lowe married Elizabeth Kincaide fthe name was for- 
merly spelled Kinkaid), the father of John Lowe and J. Granville 
Lowe, enterprising farmers of Jumping Branch District, and the 
grandfather of the furniture merchants in Hinton, C. E. Lowe and 


Clifford Lowe. Mathew Lowe owned and lived on the fine farm 
on Hungart's Creek, now owned by John Willey and once owned 
by A. J. Miller, a son of Brice Miller. He had three daughters, 
Eliza A., who married Anderson Wheeler. J. C. Wheeler and Rob- 
ert Wheeler were her sons, and Mrs. Waddell, of Madam's Creek, 
her daughter. Her second husband was Hon. Sylvester Upton. 
Another daughter of Mathew Lowe was Agnes, who married Peter 
Wyant, of Big Bend Tunnel, and another daughter, Rebecca, mar- 
ried Jordan Grimmet. 

Kincaide was a prominent man in the settlement of the country. 
Mathew reared a large family, having lived at the mouth of Hun- 
gart's Creek. Jane married Moses Hedrick, the father of Wm. C, 
Geo. W., John, Mathew and George, and his daughter Mary mar- 
ried \A'illiam Wyant, of Pisgah Church. Susan married John 
Allen, son of Nathaniel Allen, who now lives in Mercer County. 
Moses Hedrick and his wife lived to a very old age, dying some 
eleven years ago. 

Florence Graham Kincaide married Isaac Tincher, and, after 
his death, married Thomas Holstein, who still lives on the Big 
Bend Mountain near Pisgah Church, and he is one of the solid, 
substantial farmers of this county. Mrs. Holstein is one of the few 
of Mathew Kincaide's children still living. It was out of the title to 
this land at Talcott the great suit of Karns vs. the Citizens of the 
Town of Talcott grew. The land was inherited by Kincaide's wife, 
and he made conveyances in which she did not join. After his death 
the Carnes heirs sued, one of his (Kincaide's) children, Rebecca, 
having married Henry Karns, of Mercer County, whose heirs 
brought the suit. 

Lanty Graham Kincaide married Eliza Keller, a sister of George 
Keller, of Lowell, on the old Konrad Keller place. Emma, a 
daughter of Lanty Graham Kincaide^ married Col. \\'ilson Lively. 
of Lowell. Nancy Kincaide and Susan married Griffith and William 
Meadows. Griffith Meadows once owned a lot of this land at 
Talcott, and it was he who took the deed from Mathew Kincaide 
without having the wife join. He was a prominent man in that 
region about the day of the formation of the county, was a justice 
of the peace, and now lives in Monroe County, an old man. His 
sons, Lanty and Rufus, live at Talcott, are well-to-do citizens, both 
employees of the C. & O. Railroad ; one, chief of the carpenter 
force ; the other, Rufus H., the chief of iron bridge construction, 
one of the best in the land. 

Lantv Kincaide, a brother of Mathew. married a Scott and 


settled on Muddy Creek, but later moved to Lick Creek, in Sum- 
mers, where he died in 1850. John, a son of Lanty, lived and died 
on Lick Creek, on a farm now owned by James Sedley Duncan, a 
part of the old Banks-Schermerhorn patent. Two of his sons, 
Charley and Lewis, were Baptist preachers, and died in recent 
years. St. Clair Burdette, who li^•ed to the age of 105 years, dying- 
in 1906, married the daughter of John Kincaide, Octavia. 

Lanty Kincaide, Sr.'s, daughter, Rebecca, married William Gra- 
ham, a grandson of Col. William Graham. James Graham, the 
famous hunter and blacksmith, was her son. 

David, the youngest son of Joseph Graham, married Sarah J. 
Alderson, a daughter of James Alderson, a descendant of the pioneer 
Baptist minister west of the Alleghenies. E. D. Alderson, another 
of the descendants, is one of the best farmers in Talcott District, 
residing near the mouth of Hungart's Creek. He was a brave 
soldier in the Confederate Army, a Baptist and a Democrat. 

James Boon and James K. Scott on Boon's and Hungart's Creek ; 
Culbertsons, Parleys and Packs on New River; the Meadows, 
Lillys, Neeleys, Hughes and Cooks in Jumping Branch and Pipe- 
stem ; Brooks and Foxes, Bowles and Kalors on the Hump Moun- 

The first school taught in Alonroe County was in a round log 
house, the roof made of clapboards held down by ridge poles, with 
a puncheon floor. And those holding official positions have nearly 
invariably been the descendants of the old settlers, or the excep- 
tions, which are few, those who became permanent inhabitants, 
and not those people who landed on our soil, running for office. 
Those gentry were usually voted to take a back seat, and at least 
to get the dust of other regions shaken from their feet before enter- 
ing the lists for official spoils. This county has not had to go 
beyond its borders to seek for honest timber from whom to elect 
its officials, and in nearly each case the offices have been held by 
the descendants of the pioneer and natives of its soil, or from those 
who have become such, and it is none the worse off by its so being. 

C. R. Price is a native of Giles County, Virginia, and an "old 
Virginia gentleman," descended from an old and honorable family 
of Newport, Giles County, Virginia. He purchased Wildwood, the 
Dr. Fowler place, at the mouth of Indian, where he resided for 
several years, later locating on the John "W. AMseman farm on the 
New River Hills, between Wolf Creek and the mouth of Greenbrier. 
He was a brave Confederate soldier and fought through the Civil 
War, being wounded severely, which wound he carries to this day. 


He represented Giles County for several terms in the House of 
Delegates of Virginia, and is now a patriotic citizen of the county. 
His sons, Wm. H. Price, the jeweler, and Thomas, the wholesale 
grocer, are citizens of Hinton, and Dr. Malcolm Price, another son, 
lives in Charleston. Air. Price was a captain in the Civil War 
and made a brave and honorable record. 

Vanbibber settled at Lowell about 1775 or 1780, 

but sold his claim to Konrad Keller and moved on west. He was 
evidently a hunter seeking. adventure, and later reached the Kana- 
wha. George Keller, a direct descendant, still owns and lives on 
this land. His only son, the Rev. Wallace Keller, lives in the same 
neighborhood, and his grandson, David AA^allace Keller, is a mer- 
chant at Lowell. 

Samuel and James Gwinn came about 1780. They were from 
the Calf Pasture River. Samuel Gwnnn married the widow Eliza- 
beth Graham, who was a Miss Lockridge, hence the name of Lock- 
ridge Gwinn, a son of "Squire" John Gwinn. 

Samuel Gwinn had five sons. Moses, Andrew, Samuel, John, 
Ephraim, and two daughters — Ruth, who married James Jarrett, 
Sr., the mother of the late Joseph and James Jarrett, two of the 
wealthiest men in Greenbrier County at their days. 

Samuel Gwinn moved from Lowell to Lick Creek in 1800, and 
died March 25, 1837, in the ninety-fourth year of his age. Hon. 
Marion and Llarrison are his grandsons. He divided $12,000.00 
between his sons in silver before his death. Two of his sons, 
Samuel and Andrew, carried their distribution home across Keen- 
ey's Knobs in grain sacks, in bulk about half a bushel. He invited 
all his sons in on a certain day and made the division. The two 
named lived at Lowell and carried theirs to their homes as above 
stated, on a pack-horse through the mountains fifteen miles, when 
there were no roads, only a trail. Andrew Gwinn, of Lowell, is the 
grandson of this Samuel. 

James Gwinn, the other brother, settled on Keller's Creek on 
what is known as the Laben Gwinn farm. He died many years 
ago, before his brother. He left four sons, Robert, James, Joseph 
and Samuel. His son was appointed ensign by the first county 
court of Monroe. 

Joseph settled a mile above his father, and left John, Sylvester, 
James, Augustus and Joseph. J. Clark Gwinn and Geo. K. Gwinn, 
the merchants of Alderson, are sons of Augustus. 

Miriam Gwinn married J. W. P. Stevens, who was a very noted 
man, being a "schoolmaster." He wrote all the wills, deeds and 


legal papers of the region. He was called upon to count the $12,- 
000.00 which Samuel Gwinn divided among his sons, and to see 
that each son got his part. Three of his descendants still live, 
John and Joseph in Greenbrier, and Mrs. Geo. Alderson, wife of 
Hon. Geo. Alderson, at Alderson. 

Robert, son of James, Sr., settled at River View Church, and 
his son James, and his grandsons, Oliver, Ed (who was a very 
large man, full of fun and wit, who was never married, and was 
killed by a falling tree), and William lived there after him. Also 
Addison R., of Wolf Creek. 

Samuel Gwinn, son of James, Sr., married Magdalene Johnson 
and settled on the James Boyd farm at Little Bend Tunnel, later 
owned by William and Charles Maddy, and later by James Boyd, 
and then by his sons, Richard and Ben R. 

Konrad Keller had four sons, Philip, John, Henry and David. 
Elizabeth married James Ferrell ; Rachel married Eph'raim Gwinn, 
youngest son of Samuel. She died May 8, 1889, eighty-six years 
of age. Philip moved to Indiana. He and Madison married daugh- 
ters of Enos Ellis. David Keller, Sr., lived and died at Lowell. 
Henry was the father of George, who now lives on the old planta- 
tion. He died about eighty years ago, dropping dead in the harvest 
field while cradling wheat. Geo. Keller is now over eighty years 
of age, but remembers his father's tragic death. 

One took up a claim also at this place, but sold to Konrad 
Keller and moved on west, locating on the Big Sandy in 1818. 

Notliffe Taylor settled on the Greenbrier, where Henry Milburn 
now lives, and Isaac Milburn, the ancestor, married his daughter. 
Nancy, another daughter, married William Johnson, of Johnson's 
Cross Roads, Monroe County. Elizabeth married Samuel Gwinn, 
Sr. Notliffe Taylor also owned land on Hungart's Creek, and no 
doubt Taylor's Ridge is named for him. 

William Kincaide first located and settled on the Jessie Beard 
place, Pence Springs. 

William Hinchman, about the close of the Revolution, settled 
near Greenbrier River. He was an Englishman, and is supposed 
to have been a British soldier, who, like many others, were tired 
of British rule, and after the Revolution determined and did locate 
in this country. His first location was below Gwinn's Branch, 
then he removed to the present Hinchman plantation across the 
present county line in Monroe, where his son and grandson, Wil- 
liam, lived and died. His great grandson likewise, and his great 
great-grandsons, John and Luther, now reside. It was his great 


granddaughters, Elizabeth, who married Capt. A. A. Miller, and 
Mary, who married Thomas Allen George, of Lick Creek. One 
son, William, of this pioneer, moved to Logan, whose descendants 
still live there, the Logan pioneers. He raised a family of twenty- 
four children, and they live there yet. The Hinchmans are promi- 
nent people. The inscription on the monument of the late John 
Hinchman at River View Church is as follows: "He died as he 
lived, a Christian." John Hinchman was a representative in the 
Legislature from Monroe County, a commissioner of the county 
court and a prominent man. His son, John, is president of the 
county court of that county. William Hinchman, the ancestor, 
was a justice of the peace and a ruling elder in the Presbyterian 

The Ellis settlement at the mouth of Griffith Creek, known as 
the Enos Ellis place, is one of the oldest in the country, and is pos- 
sibly older than the Graham. It was near this place where Thomas 
Griffith was killed by Indians. 

Baily Wood had a cabin near the foot of Keeney's Knob, and 
also Martin McGraw, where A. H. Honaker now lives, but they 
never acquired title; or. if so, sold out their claims before they had 
ripened into patent. 

William Withrow, the first known settler settled on what is 
now the Eades farm, a mile southeast of the Clayton post office, 
but moved away after a short residence. Peter Eades soon after 
acquired the property. He came from Albemarle County, Vir- 
ginia, and his descendants are still in the county. Mr. Al. Eades, 
a section master at Talcott ; Mrs. Lant Meadows, of the same place, 
and W. K. Eades, the merchant of Lowell, are descendants of this 
first settler, as was Joshua Eades, the carpenter, and Eades, the 
great bridge architect and engineer, who constructed the great iron 
bridge across the Mississippi at St. Louis, and the jetty improve- 
ments at the mouth of that river. 

A family of McGraw's also settled on Griffith's Crock at a place 
known as the Nowlan place. 

It is tradition that the first settler on the Elag Fork of Lick 
Creek, either James Butler or a man by the name of Sims, came 
into the region, planted out a "patch" of corn and went back across 
the mountains to bring his family; and, on his return, the buffaloes 
had destroyed the corn, and he evidently had to begin over again, 
as his object was to secure a corn title. Thus Sims' Ridge, where 
John Hoke lives, gets its name. One of the oldest houses 
in all that region was a round log house two stories high, with 


wooden hinges tp the doors and roof tied down by ridge poles, with 
a block between them, with a puncheon floor and chimney with a 
fireplace in which logs of a large size could be burned, ten feet 
long. This was the largest chimney ever known of in the country, 
but built out of small and thin rocks, evidently picked up in the 
branch. This house was lived in by a renter by the name of John 
Ellis with his mother, Peggy Ellis, a widow of a soldier in the 
War of 1812. They were from Monroe County. 

After it was vacated by them the house was so dilapidated that 
W. E. Miller, thirty-iive or forty years ago, who owned it, pulled 
it down and burned the logs for firewood, but the chimney stood 
for many years after as a monument of the long past. It was a 
matter of general tradition that this chimney was built by a man 
and woman, the woman carrying the great mass of stone in her 
apron and the man placing them. 

Uriah Garten was one of the first settlers in the "Farms," and 
there is one of his descendants by the name of Elijah Garten living 
on the headwaters of Bradshaw's Run. He first settled in Spice 
Hollow, where Elijah now lives. Steven Davidson lives on a part 
of the plantation, having married one of his descendants. 

Alexander Hutchinson, the father of Major James Hutchinson 
and J. Mastin Hutchinson, settled on the place now owned by John 
Lowe on Bradshaw's Run, and he and his wife are buried on that 
farm. He was the grandfather of A. M. and Wellington. Hutch- 
inson settled there about 1790. 

The mouth of Hungart's Creek was settled in 1795 by David 
Graham, who married Mary Stodgill, on what is now known as 
the Woodson farm, which is owned by a Mr. Dickinson, who mar- 
ried a daughter of the late Zachariah Woodson. 

James Graham, Jr., settled in the RiiTe Bottom in the year 1800, 
a part of which farm is now owned and occupied by the Honorable 
M. M. Warren, which property afterwards passed into the owner- 
ship of Mr. D. M. Rifife, and descended to his children, one of which 
is Mr. J. A. Riffe, now president and general manager of the Hin- 
ton Department Company. 

William Taylor, son of Notliff Taylor, mentioned before, set- 
tled on Hungart's Creek, a mile north of Pence's Spring Station, 
on what is now known as the Bush place, the dwelling-house now 
occupied on this farm by Mr. C. E. Mann was built by William 
Taylor nearly 100 years ago. 

The settlement by the Grahams at the present Clayton settle- 
ment was in the ye'ar 1783, which is on the waters of Hungart's 


Creek, where the said David G. Ballangee now lives. Early settlers 
in that community were also Bailey Wood and >Iartin McGraw, 
the location being on the farm now owned by Mr. Charles H. 
Graham. Wm. Withrow lived about a mile southeast of the Gra- 
ham place, which was afterwards occupied by Peter Eades and 
family, from Albemarle County, Virginia, and came there about 
the year 1830. 

About three miles from Clayton Post Office at this time lived 
a family by the name of Griffith, Thomas, the head of the family, 
having been killed by the Indians in 1780, and is the last recorded 
victim of the savages in this county. This place is now known as 
the Ellis place, and is occupied by the Ellis descendants. This set- 
tlement was probably before the Graham settlement at Lowell. 

The first settler on Wolf Creek was Richard Woodrum, the 
grandfather of Major "Dick" Woodrum and the father of John 
Woodrum and Armstrong Woodrum, who was the father of Rich- 
ard M. Woodrum, the merchant of Woodrumtown. Richard ^^^ood- 
rum was the grandfather of the venerable Charles Garten, of For- 
est Hill District. 

Richard Woodrum, the grandfather of Major Dick Wood- 
rum, first settled on the "Turner Place," now owned by Oscar 
Hutchinson. Mr. Woodrum first made improvement on that grant. 
He was the father of John Woodrum, the father of Major Dick 
Woodrum. Armstrong W^oodrnm, the father of Richard M. Wood- 
rumat Wiggins, was a son of Richard the first, as was also Bud 
Woodrum, who emigated W>st ; also ^V. C. Woodrum was a son of 
Armstrong. "Item" John Lilly, the assessor, sometimes men- 
tioned as "Gentleman John," married Ida Woodrum, a daughter of 
Richard Woodrum the first. One daughter, Polly, married 
Campbell Hutchinson, who settled at Forest Hill, but early in the 
Civil War emigrated to Ohio. Another daughter. Lilly, married 
John Mastin Hutchinson. Another, Rhoda Lilly, married Fleming 
Sanders, who lived near Forest Hill, and Avas broken up by reason 
of his suretyship for Joseph Ellis, deputy sheriff, for Evan Hinton. 
Fleming Sanders was a brother of Capt. "Bob" Sanders. Lydia 
Woodrum married George Allen, who lived on Indian Draft near 

A man by the name of Massey, possibly Peter :\lasscy. settled 
and lived on the John M. Hutchinson place near Forest Hill, and it 
is known to this day as the Massey place. These people were all 
old settlers around Forest Hill and in that region. 

Nathaniel Roberts built the first storehouse at Forest FTill. He 


married a sister of Judge A. N. Campbell. This storehouse was 
built fifty years, ago, and is now occupied by Crawford & ^IcNeer, 
merchants, and this house was occupied at rlie b.\oi,.ning <jf '.he 
Civil War. 

The present postmaster at Forest Hill is Thomas Marshall 
Hutchinson, and he has had the office for the past twelve years. He 
is a merchant at that place, and was also postmaster before the 
Cleveland administration. The first postmaster at Forest Hill was 
J. M. Hutchinson, there being no post ofi-lce at that place before 
the War, and the people of that region got their mail at Red Sul- 
phur Springs. , 

The people of the neighborhood would take it in turn and go to 
the "Red" once a week for the mail, and sometimes make up a purse 
and hired a boy to go after it, as they did A. M. Hutchinson when 
a boy. 

A tobacco factory was built at Forest Hill, then known as 
"Farms," fifty years ago, by a man by the name of Hogleman, but 
the manufacturers. Roberts & Hogleman, was probably the first 
firm. They manufactured chewing and smoking tobacco. It was a 
flourishing business, the latest firm being the late James Mann and 
J. Cary Woodson. 

There were three old settlers at Forest Hill by the name of 
Vass. One was Major Vass, a bachelor, who settled on the J. D. 
Bolton farm. Another was Baswell, a brother of the Major, who 
sold out before the War and went to Raleigh County. Two of his 
sons, one of whom is James L.. are Baptist ministers in South 
Carolina. The other brother was James \^ass, who settled on an 
adjoining place with his brother, known as the Lewis C. Symms 
place, on Bradshaw's Run. They were not brothers of the late 
Philip Vass, the father of Squire Cary Vass. of Marie, who was a 
native of Giles County, Virginia. 

Edwin Woodson, who early settled in Forest Hill on the head 
of Bradshaw's, was an eminent missionary Baptist preacher and 
was the father of J. Cary Woodson and John N. B. Woodson, who 
now live in Alderson, West Virginia ; Wm. W. Woodson, who 
married a daughter of John H. Dunn, and Edwin C. Woodson, who 
is the youngest, and he is now over sixty years old. Eliza Woodson 
married I. J. Cox, and Jane married Stewart Mann. 

The Woodsons were among the earliest settlers in the New 
River Valley, and the settlers were among the pioneer Indian 
fighters and defenders of pioneer civilization in the New River 
Valley region, and there are descendants of the pioneer Woodsons 


throughout all the county in those valleys west of the Alleghenies. 
Stonewall Jackson's mother married a Woodson as her second hus- 
band, and she is buried at Ansted, in Fayette County. 

One of the first settlers in the Forest Hill country was Peter 
Miner, who settled on the farm where that excellent citizen, Allen 
Ellison, now lives. His direct descendant, Peter Miner, of that 
district, still owns and lives on a part of the original Miner lands, 
and is an excellent citizen. Richard McNeer married his sister, 
and the mother of Squire John P. McNeer of that district. Thev 
have had a long controversy over the title to a part of this prop- 
erty with Mr. Allen F. Brown. 

Another of the oldest and most enterprising farmers of Forest 
Hill District, as we'l as most respected, is Thomas G. Lowe, who 
lives on Bradshaw's Run, where Bradshaw, the settler, was slain 
by the Indians. He was a brave and honorable Confederate soldier 
during the Civil War. He is a brother of L G. Lowe, the ex-justice 
and politician, but a loyal Democrat, and his 1)rother a loyal Re- 
publican. His son, AVilliam G. Lowe, is the efficient postmaster at 
Indian Mills, and another son, Robert E. Lowe, fills an important 
position in Government service at Washington, D. C. Another of 
the best citizens of that country is Wm. Redmond, a southwest A^ir- 
ginian, who settled many years ago near the Indian Mills. 

Frank Meadows was a soldier under General .\nthony W'avne 
(Mad Anthony) from Culpepper County, Virginia, and after the 
battle of Fallen Timbers and the end of the war came to Wolf 
Creek and settled. He drew a pension, and after his death it was 
drawn by his wife from the United States Government. He raised 
a family of two sons ; one was named St. Clair (Sinclair) after Cicn- 
eral St. Clair, and another after General Anthony Wayne. G. C. 
Meadows and J. J. Meadows, of Barger Springs, are sons of St. 

This generation of Meadows settled on Greenbrier Ri\er in the 
region of the Wiggins country. G. C. Meadows, son of St. Clair 
Meadows, now living at Barger's Springs, was a soldier throughout 
the Civil War. He was a member of Capt. Morton's company and 
was captured and taken as a prisoner of war at Camp Chase, where 
he was confined for many months. While there he made with his 
pen-knife a handsome cane from a piece of hickory stove wood, on 
which he cut, "G. C. Meadows. Camp Chase. Ohio." It is a beau- 
tiful piece of workmanship, done to aid in killing time. He pre- 
sented this souvenir to the writer in 1007. 

The William C. Richmond Bottom below Hinton was first 


settled by J. Meadows and Peter Davis. Meadows built his house 
at the upper end and Davis at the lower end. Jerry Davis was the 
father of William Davis, who died on the waters of Madam's 
Creek a few years ago, and the grandfather of John, Hortan and 
Garfield Davis. Abraham, Isaac and Rufus were the sons of Jerry 
above named. 

The people of this county have always practiced those traits of 
honorable character, in their dealing with one another and with 
strangers within their borders, which approach as nearly to that 
of the Golden Rule as those of any community in any land, and 
especially in any region of territory within the United States. We 
may travel all over this county during the darkest nights, over the 
lonely roads and highways, notwithstanding the great and innu- 
merable spots within dense forests and among great mountains, 
hills, cliffs and rocks which are suitable for the commission of 
dark deeds, free from the sight of criminals and their victims and 
without danger. No one is required to carry arms for his own 
protection or that of his property; neither is the farmer required 
to lock up or fasten his house or his home to prevent invading 
marauders. Crime has never been prevalent in the country dis- 
tricts of this territory, and the people are courteous to each other 
and also to strangers. The abrupt and often insolent manners 
frequent to many sections of this couiltry, and especially to the 
densely populated cities and Communities, is not in evidence in 
Summers County. When the people meet, they take time to greet 
each other, ask about the health of their families and how they 
are prospering, as well as to inquire into the welfare of their neigh- 
bors, always giving and receiving sociable answers to personal in- 
quiries, and with a grace and asperity not imitated in many sec- 
tions. It is acquired by descent, and is devoid of prOfuseness. If 
a person is accepted as a guest, he is expected to be at home dur- 
ing the visit, whether it be in a log cabin, or a mansion on the 
shores of the rivers. The social life of these people has always 
been most agreeable, without style, formality, or ostentation. In- 
vitations to come and dine and spend the day are usual among the 
neighbors, and are accepted. The custom of spending the day is, 
and has been for generations, a common occurrence among these 
people. One of the old customs which has descended to the pres- 
ent generation, among the ladies of a community, is to invite each 
other to come and spend the day and bring their knitting along, 
and invitations to a quilting, or some gathering of that character 
of a social nature. The knitting has gone out of fashion, because 


it has become one of the lost arts since the Civil AVar. The quilt- 
ing was one of the many features of country life in this region 
in which young and old patricipated. A home-made quilt, in which 
the neighbors joined in making, was a work of art as well as of 
patience. The quilt is composed of scraps from wedding gowns 
and other garments, and rare fabrics, cut in all manner of shapes 
and devices. Each scrap has its history in connection with the 
wearer or the owner of the original from which it was cut. Some 
patches in the quilt are cut to represent hearts, birds, animals and 
monograms artfully made with selected threads. From such a 
quilt, of which there are many in this good county, is built up a 
history of good neighbors and good friends. At one of these quilt- 
ings the male members attended in the evening, partaking of the 
bounteous meals and of the dances which followed. The inter- 
course among our people, as it has been for generations, is frequent 
and genteel. They meet in public, political meetings and religious 
services, and have kept bright the dull and rough edges of human 
life in a country- of this character, and which naturally grows up in 
an isolated mountain community. There has never been envy or 
jealousy between the classes of rich and poor. They mingle on 
an equality during public occasions. The individual is respected 
because o.' his good qualities, and not because of his earthly pos- 
sessions. The learned official carries his head no higher in dis- 
dain of the private citizen than does the farmer and the mountain- 
eer, who can neither read nor write his name, but is a decent and 
respectable citizen. Neither has disdain for his fellow, unless the 
individual has forfeited his self-respect by his own acts. The peo- 
ple of this county have always been on an equality. There have 
been no rich people, and the extremely poor have been few, com- 
paratively. They were all educated in the same schools, and were 
brought up in the same surroundings, the majorit}^ possibly, of our 
people being possessed of property of less than one thousand dol- 
lars ; nevertheless, such persons, regardless of their worldly goods, 
have been enabled to live upon the lands, and receive many more 
comforts from that meager possession than are received in other 
regions, where possessions are much less meager and the proper- 
ties are much greater in value. The majority of the people own 
their own lands. They are all reared to work with their own 
hands, and clasp the plow-handle or other implements of honest 
toil, which give assurance of prosperity without shame. The early 
settlers sought this region for an independent life. They preferred 
it, and they secured it, and that independence has descended to 


the present generation, and every inhabitant of the county should 
be proud of his native State, as well as of his county, who was 
born within its territory or reared upon its soil, or where it has 
become his home by adoption. 

The first Constitution which governed this territory was adopted 
on the 29th day of June, 1776, five days before the famous Dec- 
laration of Independence was adopted, and on the 30th of June 
the first Governor was selected by the inhabitants from their own 
ranks, which was Patrick Henry. It was under this Constitution 
that religious freedom was made an existing fact, and the Church 
of England was disestablished. At practically the same time primo- 
geniture and the entail systems were abolished, by which lands 
were handed down from father to the oldest son in succession. 
The question of suffrage was an agitated one from 1780 to 1850, 
and till this date. Under the Constitution of 1776 no man could 
vote who did not possess as much as twenty-five acres of land, 
with a house on it, or fifty acres of unimproved land. After a long 
fight, suffrage was extended in 1830 to certain lease-holders and 
house-holders ; but not until the famous Reform Convention of 
1850 was every free white man allowed to vote, and during all the 
time of the strenuous suffrage agitation there was an agitation be- 
tween the Eastern and Western sections of Virginia. It was in 
1850 that the people were given the right to elect the Governor, 
justices and all local oiBcers, including members of the Legisla- 
ture, by a direct vote. Prior to that they were elected by the Gen- 
eral Assembly, which corresponds with our Legislature, and dur- 
ing all this period the people voted by the viva voce system. The 
secret ballot was never introduced until after the Civil War. Dur- 
ing the time our territory was within the territory of Virginia, it 
furnished seven Presidents to the United States. It gave the ter- 
ritory from which six States were carved, so that she was the 
"Mother of States" as well as the "Mother of Statesmen and Presi- 

When the ancient pioneers came into this land, they found a 
home in the wilderness, and they betook themselves to building 
houses, clearing the forests, planting orchards and cultivating the 
arts of civilized life. Few of them ran wild in the forests, and few 
of them became speculators or engaged in trafficking or speculat- 
ing in hazardous enterprises. They were sober and thoughtful. 
They were far remote from the seat of justice. Neither the pio- 
neer, as well as his ancestor, would submit to ecclesiastical domi- 
nation. As they detested civil tyranny, so did they detest eccle- 


siastical. The great majority of the ancient settlers were Whigs 
of the firmest type. They were brave, and the great majority in 
this region descended from emigrants from the Valley of Virginia, 
of Scotch-Irish and of German descent, and as that country settled 
up and became populated, the same descendants of the pioneers 
gradually went Westward, as they have continued to do in the 
century following. It was of these pioneer settlers and ancient 
yeomanry that Washington signified an opinion when, in the 
darkest days of the Revolution, when it looked as though the 
patriots might fail in that eight years' struggle, he said "that if 
all other sources should fail, he might yet repair with a single 
standard from West Augusta, which included that region west of 
the top of the Allegheny Mountains, and there rally a band of 
patriots who would meet the enemy at the Blue Ridge, and there 
establish the foundation of a free empire in the West," thus indi- 
cating that it was his belief that, as a last resource, he could yet 
gather a force in Western Virginia which the great armies of Eng- 
land could not subdue. It was the descendants of these sires of 
which Washington spoke who settled in the fastnesses of this 
mountain region, and the spirit of those sires still reigns in their 
descendants, as the day of trial will disclose if it may ever become 
necessary to put it to the test. 

As stated in other parts of this book, the first houses erected 
by these primitive settlers, beginning about 1760, were the log 
cabins, covered with split clapboards, weighted down by poles to 
hold them in place. Frequently these cabins had no floors except 
the earth. Where they had floors, they were of split puncheons, 
smoothed down with a broad-axe. There were, however, a few 
hewed log houses, and later many more, as the people advanced in 
prosperity and the country developed in poulation and wealth. As 
the improvements came and advancement followed, hewed log 
houses became common, with shingle roof and plank floor, sawed 
with the whip-saw. There were no saw-mills. 

The dress of these early settlers was of the plainest materials, 
always home-made. Before the Revolutionary War, the married 
men shaved their heads and wore wigs or linen caps. Men's coats 
were made with broad backs and straight, short skirts, with pock- 
ets on the outside, having large flaps. The breeches were so short 
as to barely reach the knee, with a band around the knee, fastened 
at either end with a silver buckle. The stocking was drawn up 
under the knee-band and tied with a garter, red or blue, below the 
knee, so that it might be seen. The shoes were of leather or moc- 


casins. If shoes, they were fastened with a brass or silver buckle. 
The hat was wool or fur — usually wool — manufactured by rude 
home processes. The dress for the neck was a narrow collar to 
the shirt. There were none of the more wealthy or fashionable in 
this region who could afford the stock, knee and shoe buckles, set in 
gold or silver, with brilliant stones. Those who did that in the East 
were considered great folk, of which we had none. The female 
dress was generally the short gown and petticoat, made of plain 
material. The German women mostly wore tight calico caps on 
their heads. In hay and harvest times they joined the men in the 
labor in the fields and meadows, and it was not common only as 
a German practice, but was common to all. Many of the females 
were expert mowers, choppers and reapers. The. furniture was of 
the plainest imaginable ; a piece brought from the East was a curi- 
osity. The custom of housing stock was not at all frequent. The 
"Dutch" or German descendants alone brought with them the 
fashion of housing their stock to better comforts than the members 
of the household. There was thrift and money in it. 

John Alderson, Sr., was born in England, came to New Jersey 
in 1737, and married a Miss Curtis, a daughter of his captain. He 
became a Baptist minister, finally removing to Rockingham County, 
Virginia. He had a son John, who also became a Baptist minister, 
and who married a Miss Carroll, of Rockingham County. It was 
John Alderson, Sr., who came to the Greenbrier region in 1775, 
and founded the Alderson generation. He was a man of great in- 
telligence, and of indomitable will and energy. He was the first 
Baptist minister who carried the Baptist doctrine into all this re- 
gion west of the Alleghenies. He organized the old Greenbrier 
Baptist Church in 1781. 

Capt. Hugh Caperton, who is mentioned in these pages, was 
associated with Daniel Boone, and was his commissariat. Boone 
fell out with Captain Caperton on an expedition to the mountains 
of Kanawha River, and left the camp. When Boone heard of the 
necessities of the company for food, and was asked why he left the 
company, he replied, "Caperton didn't do to my likin'." Captain 
Caperton operated with his company in 1793. Among the men in 
that company, whose descendants live in this country, were Madi- 
son Meadows, Edward Farley, William Graham. James Montgom- 
ery, Francis Farley, Drury Farley, Thomas Cook, Andrew John- 
son, Jonas Hatfield, David French, Henry Massie, James Abbott, 
the descendants of whose family live in Pipestem district; Moses 
Massie, James Graham, David Graham, James Sweeney, whose 

Scene on C. & O. Railway From Top Gwinn's Mountain at 






descendant is the ancient Baptist minister at Beckley; Isaiah Cal- 
loway, whose descendant is Matthew Vincent Calloway, the cour- 
teous ex-sheriff of this county, now residing in Washington City ; 
and George Abbott. 

The pioneer, when he came to this land, carried with him all 
his belongings — all his earthly goods — which usually consisted of 
a rifle gun ; if married, his wife, and such plunder as could be car- 
ried on a pack-saddle. If the emigrant was so fortunate as to own 
a horse (or beast, as this animal was generally known) — some- 
times he would, if extra well-to-do — a negro slave would be a part 
of his inheritance. Every settler at once became a hunter, a trap- 
per, a farmer and a soldier. The men and boys, and in many in- 
stances the women, worked with the hoe, axe and mattock in the 
clearing of the field. The hides of wild animals were dressed 
The usual footwear was the moccasin, made from the dressed deer- 
skin, which was fashioned without thread, tacks or soles — fastened 
together with strings cut from the deer-hide. Shoes were a curios- 
ity; and when they came into use, made from the tanned cow-hide, 
they were made altogether by the neighborhood shoemaker (dog- 
wood pegs held the soles to the uppers), who made his own pegs, 
shoe thread and lasts on which to fashion them. The cradle for 
the baby was usually a sugar-trough, or a rough box constructed by 
the master of the place. Plow shoes were made of wood ; beds, 
of chaff, if wheat had been raised ; if not, from leaves. The floors 
were made of oak or poplar logs split in the middle, and laid on the 
ground with the flat side up, sometimes hewn with a pole-axe, and 
later with the broad-axe. Wooden pegs were used instead of iron 
nails in all framing, and in fastening on the rafters and wall-plates. 
Later, when iron could be had and blacksmith shops came, the 
''wrought iron" nails, made by the blacksmith, were used, and took 
the place of the locust or hickory pin ; and later the four-sided fac- 
tory nail succeeded the smith-made hammered or wrought nail ; 
and now the wire nail is used exclusively. There still exist in this 
country some remains of the old buildings wherein there was not a 
piece of iron used in construction ; and in others the remains of 
the shop-made, hammered nails. Leather straps were used for 
door hinges, or blocks of wood dressed down and shaped to enter 
an augur-hole, nailed to the door facing with another piece with a 
hole in it, and nailed to the door. Two sets of these, and the door 
was ready to hang. No iron latches or locks, but a wooden door- 
latch— a strip of thin wood and a wooden "ketch." and a string 
attached to the latch and passing out through a hole in the door— 


completed the fastenings. Not a nail or a piece of iron in the whole 
building! Such a large log building was on the W. E. Miller 
farm, on Lick Creek, in the Ellis Hollow, with a chimney ten feet 
wide. This was only one of the many of the pioneer residences 
erected in this land in its first settlements. 

The hand mill and the hominy block, with a hole made in the 
top, in which the corn was made into meal with a pestle, came 
first ; after this came the pounding mill, but few and far between ; 
later came the water grist mill. At first all lumber was sawed by the 
whip-saw. A log would be hewed square, then hoisted on trestles 
so that a man could stand under it. One man would stand on top, 
one underneath, and with a long saw, something like the cross- 
cut, with one man hold of each end, they would manufacture the 
log into plank, the man below fighting the dust out of his eyes. 
Then came the upright water saw-mill, the remains of which may 
yet be seen in very rare instances. Many a good housewife had 
the ancient loom and spinning-wheels. The table-ware was of the 
rudest character — tin plates, wooden bowls and dough trays. Salt 
could not be had in the backwoods ; but the ginseng, furs, cured 
venison hams and bear meats to be transported to the far-ofif towns 
were gathered in, and a far-ofif journey prepared for, and an ex- 
change made for salt, and later iron, which were transported by the 
pack-horse, with an old home-made wooden pack-saddle. The 
horses went unshod. 

These pioneers were a hardy race. They felled forests ; they 
battled against the wild beasts — bears, wolves, panthers, and rat- 
tlesnakes, copperheads, and other vicious wild beasts and venom- 
ous reptiles with which the forests were crowded and were warring 
with each other; and there were forests full of deer, bufifalo, elk, 
pigeons and turkeys, and other birds useful for sustenance. 

The emigrants from the Old World were not of this hardy 
stock. They sought, however thrifty, the protection c^f the pio- 
neer settler from the Indian savage, as well as the wild beasts of 
the wilderness. Every pioneer was a defender of himself and his 
neighbor. The boys and girls and the women could ride, swim, 
shoot, hunt and kill. They could aid in the defense of the fort or 
the blockhouse. There was no end of war with the savages; it 
mattered not whether during a so-called peace, or when a war was 
in progress. The Indian was always at war until driven out of the 
land, and this continued for a generation. 

The coat usually worn was the hunting-shirt, made of 
home-made jeans or the skins of wild animals. It came to the 


knees, with a belt buttoned around the waist. The arms for de- 
fensive purposes, as well as for hunting, were the old fiint-lock 
rifles, musket or flint-lock smooth-bore, and large hunting knives; 
and only in later years did the percussion lock and cap-rifled gun 
follow. The weddings were not frequent, but were great events. 

There were no schools for a long time after the pioneer first 
began reclaiming the wilderness, and it was only the fortunate 
boy or girl who had the opportunity to learn to read or write. Both 
were, in the early days, great accomplishments; and to know how 
to figure beyond vulgar fractions was a wonder. When the school- 
teacher came in, he would board around with the various families 
who sent their children to him. He taught in the log-cabin school 
house with board covering held on by ridge poles, there being no 
nails to be secured with which to fasten the roof, and with dirt 
floors; the poles or walls were sometimes daubed with mud, or 
chinked only and not hewn, with a rock chimney, and a fireplace 
big enough to burn a log-heap at one time. Even these 
houses were few and far between. The seats were split logs or 
fence rails, with holes bored in one side and pegs stuck in for legs, 
without backs or comfort. One log was cut out and a hole made 
for light, and no desks. The ink with which the youth learned to 
write was frequently "poke-berry juice" ; and after all, when a 
school house was built and a teacher secured — which was after 
the neighborhod began to settle up — it was only the few who 
learned to read and write. There were no college-bred gents, kid- 
glove or patent-leather shoe gentlemen in those days. No churches, 
but soon came the pioneer missionary Baptists, Methodists, Pres- 
byterians and Primitive Baptists, with the pioneer preacher, In- 
dian fighter and man of God ; and the influence of those pioneer 
ministers of the gospel will be felt to the remotest ends of the 
earth, among the generations who still and will inhabit the land. 
No churches were there, but for miles around they would gather 
in the groves and in the cabin and dwelling, once in a while, to 
worship according to the dictates of their conscience. Later came 
the rude log church and the old-fashioned school house, which an- 
swered also for church purposes. The Primitive (Hardshell) Bap- 
tists were confined to Pipestem and Jumping Branch districts. 
Wm. Crump and the Neelys and Meadors were its chief support- 
ers. They did not believe in an educated ministry or in paying 
their preachers; but are a conscientious, honest and God-fearing 
people, and good citizens. 

The spinning-wheel, now a relic of the past, was a useful piece 


of furniture to the household of every thrifty settler. The large 
wheel was used for spinning the wool into long rolls, and then 
into thread, and then woven into cloth by the old loom which 
stood in the kitchen "loom-house." The small wheel (distaff) 
was used for spinning the flax fibers, or hemp, which was made 
into thread and made ready for the weaver, to be made into linen 
or "tow" cloth, for the men and women's clothing. 

"Breathes there a man with soul so dead, 
Who never to himself hath said, ^ 

'This is my own, my native land?' 
Whose heart hath ne'er within him burned 
As home his footsteps he hath turned 
From wanderings on a foreign strand? 
If such there be, go mark him well ; 
In him no minstrel raptures swell. 
High though his title, proud his name. 
Boundless his wealth as wish can claim, — 
Despite those titles, power and pelf, 
The wretch concentrates all in self. 
Living, shall forfeit fair renown, 
And doubly dying, shall go down 
To the vile dust, from whence he sprung, 
Unwept, unhonored and unsung." 



In 1871, the family of Isaac Ballengee lived in the log house 
about the middle of the present railroad yards about the round- 
house. The family of John Hinton lived in a log house by the side 
of the main track just above the railroad and street crossing at the 
foot of the hill in the city of Avis. 

Then game Mathews V^incent Calloway, who built a frame resi- 
dence on the lot now owned by R. H. Maxwell at the east end of 
the foot bridge, which washed away in the flood of 1878; Dr. Benj. 
P. Gooch, for the practice of his profession, built the residence 
on the ••'island," now owned by Bowman. Both of these gentlemen 
were from Mercer. Luther M. Dunn, who did busmess near the 
Avis crossing, from Albemarle County, Virginia ; Carl Alexander 
Fredeking, Lee Fredeking and Charles, the native Germans, who 
came directly from Southwest Virginia ; Robert R. Flannagan and 
A. G. and Richard A., three brothers from Fayette County; Burke 
Prince and E. O., his brother, from Raleigh County; William W. 
Adams, attorney, from Petersburg, Virginia ; Nelson M. Lowry, 
attorney, from Nelson County, Virginia ; Cameron L., William R., 
J. S. and Major Benj. S. Thompson, father and three sons, native 
West Virginians: Archie B. Perkins and William B. Sprowl, of 
Virginia; M. A. Riffe and Jake A. Riflfe, of Riffe's Crossing County; 
Archie Butt, printer, Lewisburg; W. Frank McClung, Lewisburg; 
Carlos A. Sperry, attorney, Lewisburg; Raymond Dunn. Virginia; 
James Wimmer, railway engineer, Virginia ; George Glass, carpen- 
ter, Virginia, whose family still resides therein, his widow now 
being eighty odd years old; Phil Cason. railroad conductor; Childes 
Talley, railroad conductor, Walker Tyler, railroad foreman, who 
died in 1907, his family still residing in the city; James Briers, 
round-house foreman, of Virginia, and whose sons still reside here- 
in ; James Prince, merchant, Raleigh County; Wm. T. Gitt. hotel 
keeper, of Giles County, Virginia; H. S. Gerow, New York; Wm. 
James, lumberman, of Pennsylvania; Dr. John G. Manser. County; 
Dr. Shannon P. Peck, County; W. B. Talliaferro. railway employe, 
Virginia; John P. Mills, lumberman. New York; John R. Gott. 
undertaker, Mercer County; John H. Pack, merchant. County; B. 


L. Hoge, clerk, Mercer County; John M. Garden, hotel, County; 
John H. Gunther, the first depot agent and agent for the Central 
Land Company at Hinton ; E. H. Peck, clerk, Mercer County; D. R. 
Swisher, master machinist, Virginia; W. D. Tompkies, merchant, 
Virginia; W. G. Ridgeway, hotel; John Finn, Virginia; Robert 
Elliott, lumberman, Canada ; James W. Malcolm, attorney, Green- 
brier; James P. Pack, salesman, County; C. A. Thomas, merchant, 
Ohio; W. G. Burns, railway employee, Virginia; George W. Gib- 
son, carpenter; James Johnson (colored), boatman; A. A. McNeer, 
tobacco manufacturer, Monroe County; D. H. Peck, railway en- 
gineer, County; P. P. Peck, clerk. County; O. McGee, butcher, 
Virginia ; John McGee, butcher, Virginia ; P. K. Litsinger, ma- 
chinist, Pennsylvania; R. D. Rose, carpenter, Monroe County; 
Capt. Frank H. Dennis, a sailor, Maryland (he was a brother of 
U. S. Senator George Dennis, of Maryland) ; M. A. W. Young, 
preacher. County; M. Bibb, minister, Fayette County; Wm. Wood 
(colored), watchmaker, Virginia; Jacob Pyles, blacksmith, Monroe 
County; John Cooper, merchant, Mercer County; C. B. Mahon, 
railway conductor, Virginia ; R. A. McGinity, shoemaker, Virginia ; 
John W. Flanagan, railway engineer, Virginia ; W. R. Duerson, 
merchant, Virginia; G. O. Blubaugh, lumberman, Virginia; C. 
B. Blubaugh, M. D., Virginia; T. P. Snow, lumberman, Virginia; 
Cook Brothers, butchers, Ohio; Ferguson Brothers, hotel, Raleigh; 
John A. Douglas, attorney, Mercer; F. W. Mahood, attorney, Giles 
County, Virginia, and who had represented both Giles County and 
Mercer County in the Legislature of both Virginia and West Vir- 
ginia. M. V. Calloway was the first merchant, with Wm. Holroyd, 
the Englishman, as his partner; Hal McCue, attorney, Stanton. 

James H. Hobbs, a native of Roan County, was one of the first 
settlers in Hinton. He was a carpenter, and built some of the first 
buildings. He was also a constable (elected), and a school teacher. 

The first barber in Hinton was John Woodson, a colored man. 
The first white barber was Chris. Rau, from Ohio ; then came L. 
E. Dyke, Chris. Hetzel, the politician, J. A. Fox and others, and 
Wm. A. French, Mercer Salt Works. M. A. Rifife, W. C. Ridge- 
way, A. B. Perkins and Jake Ridisill were among the first saloon- 
ists. W^ C. Ridgeway, Perkins & Sprowl, Ferguson Brothers, 
M. A. RifTe. Hiram Scott and Mrs. M. S. Gentry were the first 
hotel proprietors. Mrs. Gentry kept the first boarding-house in 
the cities of Hinton and Avis, which was in the old log Hin- 
ton residence, near the railroad crossing. George W. Gibson, 
John R. Gott and R. D. Rose, among the first carpenters; J. H. 
Gunther, first depot agent. Afterwards followed A. G. Flanagan, 


L. M. Peck, J. Hugh Miller and R. A. Young. Among the first 
merchants were C. A. Fredeking & Brothers, A. B. Perkins, Jake A. 
Riffe, Joseph Hinton & Brother and Frank W. McClung. W. C. 
Ridgeway, M. D. Tomkies and W. A. Stewart were also among the 
first merchants; later came John Cooper. The first jeweler was 
A. T. Maupin, followed by William L. Fredeking, R. H. Smith, 
John D. McCorkle and E. M. Pack. The first drug store in the 
town was that of Dr. Wills, who also erected one of the first ho- 
tels, on the corner of Sixth Avenue and Front Street, which is now 
owned by Miss Maggie Atkinson. F. W. Benedict was also one 
of the original merchants. The next drug store was opened by Dr. 
Patterson, who was succeeded by W. A. Stewart; then came L. 
W. Bruce, an enterprising citizen, who established the first and only 
female seminary or school ever established in the city. He con- 
structed and used as a young ladies' school the present building 
occupied by the Miller hotel proprietor, and the four buildings by 
the side, facing the Court House Square. Later on came E. N. 
Falconer, followed by Puckett Brothers and the Hinton Drug Co. 
One of the pioneer carpenters and builders of the town was Cap- 
tain Falconer, the brave Confederate soldier, who resided for a 
number of years at Alderson ; B. L. Moorefield, the merchant tailor, 
and Mr. Tinder married his daughter. The first three-story brick 
building constructed in the town was by J. H. Gunther, on the site 
of Dr. Peck's brick business block, on Third Avenue, which burned 
down. The second was Ferguson Bros.' Central Hotel ; the third, 
Dunn & Humes' Building, on Second Avenue; the fourth was R. D. 
Rose's brick corner on Temple Street and Third Avenue, and the 
Bank of Hinton, on the opposite corner, followed by R. R. Flana- 
gan's brick block. The pioneer brick masons and builders were two 
brothers, Samuel E. and William P. Phillips, who reside in Avis, 
and who built a number of pioneer brick buildings in the city. The 
first opera house after the Thespian Society's project was Col. J. A. 
Parker's, corner of Summers Street and Third Avenue. The first 
Methodist preacher was V. M. Wheeler; Presbyterian, Rev. Laird; 
Catholic, D. P. Walsh; Baptist, M. Bibb. 

Richard Gayer was one of the early railway men here. He was 
foreman in the yards, and was accidentally killed by an engine 
while in the performance of his duties. He left a widow, who died 
in recent years ; a son, John, an engineer on the Norfolk & Western 
Railway; a daughter, Miss Maggie, who married Mayor J. F. Smith; 
and another, Miss Mamie, who married Hamilton Bruce, of Virginia. 

R. A. McGinity was the first shoemaker; and James Bishop, the 
.second, operated on Front Street. 


Hon. T. S. Scanlon was one of the early locomotive engineers 
who came to Hinton and made it his home. He is now a resident of 
Huntington, one of the leading merchants, bankers and Democratic 
leaders, and a fine orator — one of the best "stumpers" of the Demo- 
cratic faith. He is a brother of Mrs. Richard Gayer. 

The Gores, of which there have been a number in this county, 
including Henry Gore and his brother, Capt. Robert Gore, the 
father of Charles W. Gore, of Athens, Henry being the father of our 
present county citizen, a merchant on Lick Creek, James H. Gore, 
was originally a family from Loudon County. 

Capt. Robert Gore was a brave Confederate soldier, a captain 
in its armies ; was at the battle of Gettysburg, and captured, by his 
daring, one hundred Federal soldiers. This daring enterprise, suc- 
cessfully carried to a conclusion, was witnessed by William Brown, 
a brave soldier in that war, and now a respected citizen of Pipestem 
district, who remembers and relates vejy distinctly the details of 
the occurrence, and the incident is a true historical fact. 

The Frenches first came to Westmoreland Co., Virginia; then 
to Hampshire County, West Virginia ; thence to Giles and Mercer. 

The Gotts came directly from Ireland, John R. Gott being the 
representative of that family in this county. 

The Ellisons and Carnes came from Monroe County, and were 
pioneers in the settlements. The Bowlings and Woods came from 
Patrick County, Virginia. The Gooches were originally from Albe- 
marle County; the Shumates from Fauquier County. The Coopers 
were from Grayson. The Pendletons were from Campbell Co. ; the 
Campbells from Patrick Co. ; the Meadows from Rockingham. 

Josiah Meadows, immediately after the close of the Revolution- 
ary War, first settled on Mountain Creek. He was the first Primi- 
tive Baptist (or Hardshell) preacher that came to Mercer and Sum- 
mers counties. His sons were Turner, William, John and Josiah, Jr. 

The Walkers were from Giles County. Charles Walker lived 
most of his life in Raleigh County. He had the honor of bringing 
the first grain cradle into that county. Sallie Walker married John 
Bowling in 1820; Nancy married Edmund Hatcher; Peggie married 
Andrew Lilly; Zula married Jonathan Bailey; Polly married Sam 
Bailey, in 1816; Marinda married Green Meador; Narcissa married 
Josiah Cooper; Valeria married William IJlly; Neuma married a 
Sizemore; Underwood married a Bailey; Council first married a 
Bailey and then a Wood. These were children of Crispianis Walk- 
er, one of the men whose influence resulted in locating the county- 
seat at Princeton, in 1837. 



Judge John Marshal Hagans, one of the most careful and con- 
servative historians, of the formation of the State, says that the 
people of West Virginia suffered in bondage to the people of East- 
ern Virginia, which was no less galling, when the animus of the 
age is considered, than that of the ancient Israelites in Egypt. This 
we think is true as to the larger portion of the State, but not as to 
the section wherein our county is situate. 

The first meeting that was held to oppose secession in this 
State was in Preston County, November 12. 1860. Resolutions 
were adopted opposing secession, without a dissenting voice. Simi- 
lar meetings were held in Harrison County, on November 24th ; 
Monongalia, November 26th; in Taylor, December 3d, and in 
Wheeling, December 14th. 

On the 22d day of April, 1864, a large meeting was held at 
Clarksburg. It was attended by no less than 1,200 men. After a 
long preamble, declaring that the means resorted to by the se- 
cessionists to transfer the allegiance of the State from the Fed- 
eral Government were illegal and unjustifiable, they called upon 
each of the northwestern counties to select not less than five of its 
best, wisest and discreetest men to meet in convention at Wheel- 
ing, on the 13th day of May, 1861, to consult and determine upon 
such action as the people of Northwestern Virginia would take 
in the fearful emergency. 

The country was in confusion far greater than the sections that 
acknowledged the Confederate Government. Here there were no 
courts which dared to act. Armed bands of men traversed the 
country, requiring citizens to swear allegiance to the Ignited States, 
and the sentiment of the people was so set against the State gov- 
ernment that these bands could not be restrained. They did much 
to promote the confusion, and all business practically stopped. 
This caused the convention of May 13th to be looked forward to 


by the better people, in hope that some reHef would be afforded 

At this time no Federal troops had penetrated into Virginia. 
A regiment was hastily formed on Wheeling Island, but it was so 
new and raw that it inspired but little confidence. Delegates ap- 
peared from twenty-six counties. The more radical of the num- 
ber were for forming New Virginia. John S. Carlisle headed this 
element, which was in the majority. His plan was to adopt a' 
constitution and appoint officers, and form a State government of 
the counties represented. W. T. Willey, of Morgantown, opposed 
this, on the grounds that no vote had been taken on the question 
of secession, and that such action would not be recognized by the 
Federal, Government, being contrary to the mode prescribed for 
the formation of new States by the Constitution. 

The result was that the convention adjourned, after having de- 
termined that, if the ordinance of secession was adopted, to re- 
assemble on June 11th, together with such other counties not rep- 
resented at the first meeting as desired to join. About five hun- 
dred men composed this convention. 

May 23d was election day, and out of forty-four thousand votes 
oast in the northwest counties, forty thousand were against seces- 

On the 11th of June, the delegates met in Wheeling again. 
Thirty-seven counties were represented at this time. Arthur I. 
Boreman was unanimously chosen chairman of the convention. 

The convention adopted a declaration of grievances, and re- 
organized the government of Virginia. Francis H. Pierpont, of 
Marion County, was elected Governor, and took the oath of office. 
Other offices were filled. The Legislature convened in Wheeling, 
and elected United States Senators, who took their seats in Wash- 
ington as Senators from Virginia. 

The convention reassembled on the 6th of August, and pro- 
vided for an election upon an ordinance, the State of Kanawha, of 
thirty-nine counties, providing for the admission of Pocahontas 
and Greenbrier, if the next convention so decided. This election 
took place on the day specified, resulting in a vote of 18,408 for the 
new State, and 781 against it. 

It was provided that the new State should take upon itself a 
just proportion of the public debt of the commonwealth, charging 
itself with all State expenditures within its bounds, and deducting 
therefrom the amount of money paid into the State treasury by 
the counties during the same period. 


The new convention assembled in Wheeling, November 26th. 
Most of the time was devoted to the discussing of the slavery- 
question, and the proposition to make the new State a slave State 
was defeated by a majority of one. The convention adjourned 
February 18, 1862, having framed a Constitution, to be submitted 
to the people April 3d. 

The name of the State of West Virginia was adopted. The 
Constitution, among a great many things, provided most liberally 
for free schools. On April 3d it was voted upon, and adopted by 
a vote of 18,862 in favor and 514 against. 

The Legislature assembled on the 6th of May, and memorialized 
Congress for admission as a State. On December 31st an Act was 
passed by Congress admitting the State, on the proviso that it adopt 
a slavery clause, providing for the gradual emancipation of slaves. 
This was adopted by the new State on the 26th day of March, 
1863, by a majority of about 17,000. The result having been certi- 
fied to the President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, the 
sixty-days' proclamation was made, and on the 20th day of June, 
1863, the new State came into existence, and on that day Governor 
Boreman, the first Governor, was inaugurated at Wheeling. At 
the first election held in the State, which was in 1861, 19,891 votes 
were cast. (See 1st W. Va. Report of Supreme Court of Appeals.) 

There was no such county then as ours ; and while the territory 
of Summers was within the territorial limits of the State, it did 
not come into existence until some years after the formation by a 
special Act of the Legislature creating it, as was done in the similar 
cases of Lincoln, Mingo and Grant. Had not the new State been 
formed, no doubt the county of Summers would not have existed ; 
and had not the war between the States been fought, the State of 
West Virginia would have had no place in history, and many names 
now familiar to West Virginians would have remained in obscu- 
rity, in so far as the creation of a commonwealth brought them 
forth as history-makers. The secession feeling was specially strong 
in the northern part of the State — that is, the secession from the 
mother State, and as strongly opposed to secession from the Union. 
The great majority of the people of the State, regardless of section 
or locality, opposed secession from the Union. While the western 
part of the State of Virginia was opposed to secession, the eastern 
part was largely in favor of the secession. The slave-holding por- 
tion of the Commonwealth was in the eastern counties. 



Summers County was formed by an Act of the Legislature of 
West Virginia, passed on the 27th day of February, 1871, and in 
the seventh year of the State, from the counties of Greenbrier 
(which was originally carved out of Botetourt in the year 1777) ; 
Monroe, which was formed from Greenbrier on the 14th of Janu- 
ary, 1799, by Act of the General Assembly of Virginia; from Mer- 
cer, which was created March 17. .1837, and which was formerly a 
part of Giles ; and Giles, which was a part of Montgomery ; and 
from Fayette, which was formed from Greenbrier, Kanawha, Nich- 
olas and Logan, in 1831. No part of Raleigh was included in Sum- 
mers, although the original intention was to include Richmond 
district of that county, and the Raleigh county line then and is now 
almost within a stone's throw from the Court House at Hinton. 
The reason for no part of Raleigh having been included was that, 
at the date of the passage of the Act, the population of that county 
was exceedingly sparse, and the valuation of the taxable property 
was very inconsiderable, although its territory was then and is 
now sufficient to have permitted one district to have been severed 
and still have retained the constitutional territory of 400 square 
miles, and the Court House, and the Court House removal agi- 
tation, to change the location to Trap Hill, twelve miles beyond 
Beckley. That county is now developing into one of the richest 
and most populous of the State, by reason of its extensive forests 
of merchantable timber and deposits of Red Ash, or Pocahontas 
soft coal. Then it had no railroads or mines ; now it has one rail- 
road, the Piney Branch of the Chesapeake & Ohio; the Deepwater 
building, the Piney & Prosperity almost completed, and the Boone 
& Raleigh chartered and organizing. 

So strenuous was the opposition to any part of that count}'' 
being formed into Summers, that the Hon. Moses Scott, who was 
a member of the Legislature from Raleigh at the time of the pas- 
sage of the Act forming Summers, required a clause to be inserted 
in the Act providing that no part of Raleigh County should ever 
be included in the County of Summers, before he would vote for the 
establishment of the county. Mr. Scott has a number of the de- 
scendants now residing in Hinton, including a daughter, who mar- 
ried the merchant, Marion M. Meadows, Mrs. David Marshall, a 
granddaughter, and others. The original surveys, made through 
the efforts of Mr. Evan Hinton, the original promoter of Summers 
County, showed that it was his intention to include Richmond dis- 


trict as a part of the new county ; and the survey as first made was 
to include from Greenbrier County only the territory east of Lick 
Creek; but when Richmond district had to be taken out by reason 
of the opposition of Raleigh County, the line was protracted so as to 
include more of the Greenbrier territory by going across the Pat- 
terson Mountain into the Meadows. 

Evan Hinton, a resident of Madam's Creek, in Jumping Branch 
district of Mercer County, may justly be entitled to the designation 
of "the Father of Summers County." When Mr. Hinton repaired 
to the Legislature, then in session at Charleston, his first move- 
ment was to employ the services of Hon. Jas. H. Furgeson, an as- 
tute lawyer, statesman and legislator of considerable experience 
in Virginia and in this State ; and with his surveys showing the 
requisite area of 400 square miles, and the determined opposition 
to the passage of the Act developed, Mr. Hinton found that it 
would be impossible to secure the enactment without relinquish- 
ing the territory from Raleigh County; so he and Judge Furgeson 
secured the services of John Cole, an accomplished surveyor and 
engineer of Kanawha County, who met in Mr. Hinton's room at 
the hotel and there made the present boundary lines for Summers 
County l)v a protraction, leaving out the Raleigh territory and ex- 
tending oJier lines, especially between Greenbrier and Monroe, so 
as to apparently have the required constitutional area, when, in 
fact, at this day there is not 400 square miles in the territorial lim- 
its of Summers County by a large acreage. 

As will be later explained, and as was determined in the litiga- 
tion growing out of a legal dispute over the territory and boundary 
lines between Summers and Greenbrier, and Monroe and Sum- 
mers, which arose in the year 1894, the agitation for this new 
county sprang up about the time of the building of the Chesapeake 
& Ohio Railway, developing this region of the State. The citi- 
zens of the lower end of Mercer, Monroe, and the upper end of 
Blue Sulphur district of Greenbrier County, agitated the new coun- 
ty, one of the principal reasons advanced being the inconvenience 
of reaching the court house of each of the respective counties, as 
well as the desire for more offices, as political aspirants for official 
jobs were then abroad in the land, as well as now. 

Evan Hinton took charge of the fight; had, the surveys made; 
went to Charleston, employed lobbyists, attended the sessions of 
the Legislature, and lobbied the necessary legislation into the en- 
actment, which is here inserted. 



Be it Enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia: 

1. That so much of the counties of Monroe, Mercer, Green- 
brier and Fayette as is included within the following boundary 
lines, to-wit, beginning at the mouth of Round Bottom Branch, 
on New River, in Monroe County; thence crossing said river and 
running N. 47>2° W., 5,430 poles, through the county of Mercer, 
to a point known as "Brammer's Gate," on the line dividing the 
counties of Mercer and Raleigh ; thence with said county line in an 
easterly direction to New River; thence with the line between the 
counties of Raleigh and Greenbrier, down New River, to the line 
of Fayette County; thence with the line dividing Raleigh and Fay- 
ette counties, down said river to a station opposite Goddard's 
house; thence leaving the line of Raleigh County, crossing New 
River, passing through said Goddard's house, N. (i7y2° E. 3,280 
poles, through said county of Fayette to a station on "Wallow 
Hole" Mountain, in Greenbrier County; thence S. 55° E. 3,140 
poles, to a station east of Keeney's Knob, in Monroe County; 
thence S. 9° E. 1,320 poles, to a station near Greenbrier River, and 
running thence S. 32° W. 7,740 poles, to the beginning, shall form 
one distinct and new county, which shall be called and known by 
the name of Summers County ; and it is expressly understood and 
agreed by the applicants therefor that no part of the territory of 
the county of Raleigh shall ever be attached to the county created 
by this act. 

2. The said new county shall be attached to the same judicial 
circuit and Congressional and Senatorial districts that the county 
of Monroe belongs to. 

3. The judge of the Circuit Court of the new county shall, as 
soon after the passage of this Act as practicable, appoint a clerk 
for said court, a prosecuting attorney, recorder, surveyor, county 
superintendent of free schools, and sheriff of said county, who shall 
hold said offices until their successors are elected and qualified ac- 
cording to law. 

4. All township officers within the bounds of the new county, 
at the date of the passage of this Act, shall remain in office for the 
term for which they were elected, and until their successors are 
elected and qualified according to law. The supervisors of the 


several townships within said new county, with WilHam Haynes 
and Ephraim Gwinn, shall constitute the board of supervisors of 
said county of Summers until their successors are elected and quali- 
fied as aforesaid, and shall have all the powers and perform all the 
duties vested in and imposed by law upon other boards of super- 

5. The county-seat of said new county shall be at the mouth of 
Greenbrier River, and the board of supervisors of said new county 
shall proceed as soon as practicable after the passage of this Act 
to provide a suitable court house and other public buildings for 
said new county in the manner required by law. 

6. The said new county shall be added to the delegate district 
composed of the counties of Greenbrier and Monroe, and the said 
counties of Greenbrier, Monroe and Summers shall together elect 
three delegates, until a new apportionment shall be made as pro- 
vided by the Constitution of this State, of which, at the election 
held in 1871, one shall be a resident of the county of Greenbrier, 
one of the county of Monroe, and one of the county of Summers ; 
at the election in 1872, one shall be a resident of the county of 
Monroe, and two of the county of Greenbrier ; at the election in 
1873, one shall be a resident of the county of Greenbrier, and two 
of the county of Monroe ; and so in rotation. 

7. All process issued in the said counties of Monroe, Mercer, 
Greenbrier and Fayette, before the organization of the said new 
county, and all public dues and officer's fees which may remain 
unpaid by citizens of the said new county, shall be executed and 
returned, collected and accounted for by the sheriff or other officer 
in whose hands the same may have been placed, in the same man- 
ner as if this Act had not been passed. 

8. The courts of said counties of Monroe, Mercer, Greenbrier 
and Fayette shall retain jurisdiction over all actions, suits and 
proceedings therein pending at the passage of this Act, and shall 
try and determine the same, and award execution or other process 
therein, except in cases in which both parties reside in said new 
county, which last mentioned cases, together with the papers and 
a transcript of the record of the proceedings therein had, shall, 
after that day, if either party so desire, be removed to the courts 
of the said new county, and there tried and determined as other 

9. The board of supervisors of said new county may create an 
additional number of townships therein, not exceeding five in all. 
without submitting their action in the matter to a vote of the peo- 


pie. Said board shall also provide a place for holding courts in 
said new county until a court house shall be erected, as hereinbefore 

10. The Circuit Court of the said county of Summers shall be 
held on the 29th day of April, the 1st day of July, and the 25th 
day of September, in each year. 

Prior to the formation of the county, the Greenbrier line ran 
with the top of Keeney's Knob, down the top of Elk Knob to New 
River, a few hundred feet east of the present court house location, 
and cornered with Monroe, Mercer and Raleigh ; thence down New 
River, on the opposite side from the court house, to the Fayette 
County line. The Monroe County line ran with the Greenbrier 
County line down Keeney's Knob ; thence up New River with the 
Mercer County line ; and the Mercer County line ran with the Mon- 
roe and Raleigh, all cornering together at the point named, which 
was at the late residence of Mr. C. L. Thompson, near the court 
house, on the hill in Middle Hinton, and within what is now incor- 
porated as the city of Avis, and where Dwight W. James has con- 
structed a handsome residence and now resides, and by the side 
of the new school building in Avis. 

Summers County lies between Z7 degrees of latitude north and 
80 degrees of longitude west, and is at the base of the Allegheny 
Mountains, and throughout its territory the mountains extend in 
detached spurs, peaks and ridges. Its territory is cut up and di- 
versified by narrow streams and valleys, great mountains, hills and 
plateaus. Some time before its creation, John Hinton, the father 
of Evan, Joseph, Silas, John and William, advocated the formation 
of a new county, to be created from Fayette, Greenbrier, Monroe, 
Mercer and Raleigh, with the county-seat to be located on the 
Isaac Ballengee place, where the present court house is located, 
and had bills introduced in succeeding Legislatures, resulting in 
failure; and his efforts were taken up after his death by his son 

At the date of its formation, and for some years before, there 
had been a court house removal agitation on in Monroe County. 
The lower end of the county desired its removal from Union to 
Centerville, now Greeneville, which was claimed to be nearer the 
center, and by cutting out the lower end, Forest Hill and the Tal- 
cott sections, it would settle the matter for Union for all time; 
and, with that end in mind, Senator Allen T. Caperton, a citizen 
and friend of Union, went to Charleston at the session of the Leg- 


islature of 1871, and vigorously enlisted his great influence in aid- 
ing Evan Hinton in securing the passage of his bill to found the 
new county, and the delegate from Monroe, B. F. Ballard, voted 
fcr it. Fayette County had then, and for many years afterward had, 
a like agitation for court house removal, and her delegate, Hon. 
Edward Allen Flanagan, voted to lop off a small slice of the ter- 
ritory of that county to weaken the upper end. 

Mercer was in the throes of a court house fight between Con- 
cord Church (Athens) and Princeton, with Jumping Branch and 
Pipestem districts solid for the former place. It was also in a life- 
and-death struggle for the overthrow of the test oath government 
and for home rule, carpet-bag government being in the saddle, led 
by George Evans, Benj. White and others; and her delegate, Syl- 
vester Upton, voted for the creation of the new county. In this 
connection we will state, to show the situation at that time, that 
out of a vote of eleven hundred legal voters, less than one hundred 
and fifty were permitted to cast their votes. A Committee of Pub- 
lic Safety was organized at Princeton by those gallant lawyers, 
soldiers and patriots, Capt. John A. Douglas, Judge David E. John- 
son, H. W. Straley, Napoleon B. French and C. D. Straley, and 
others, for the preservation of the people from grafters in high 
places, and to settle the court house location forever. The board 
of supervisors were meeting one day at Princeton, and the next at 
Concord ; the public records were being hauled back and forth from 
Princeton to Concord ; public revenues were being squandered at 
large, a court house to the second brace having been built and a 
jail completed, all in the forest, at Concord, the court house, as 
well as the town of Princeton, having been burned by the notorious 
and cowardly Confederate general, Jenifer. 

The Confederate soldiers, brave and able men, of which there 
were several companies from that county, having been disfran- 
chised and ostracised, the Committee of Safety, in order to secure 
the desired ends, joined with such men as Hon. Sylvester Upton, 
of Jumping Branch, elected him to the Legislature at the session 
of 1871, and he voted for the new county, giving it the two dis- 
tricts, which destroyed forever the hopes and aspirations of Con- 
cord Church to become a court house town. Later they secured 
the Normal School for that place, to mollify the people in that 

A court house agitation was on in Raleigh for the removal of 
the temple of justice to Trap Hill, and without Richmond district, 
Beckley would be lost; therefore to secure the vote of Hon. Moses 


Scott, his clause was inserted providing that no part of that good 
county should ever be included w^ithin the territory of Summers 
County. By retaining Richmond district, Beckley strengthened 
herself and permanently secured the court house. By cutting oflf 
a part of Fayette, Monroe and Mercer, it settled the fights in those 
counties ; and Greenbrier had more territory remaining that it knew 
what to do with, and was glad to get rid of what it considered an 
isolated, bare piece of territory, forty miles from the court house, 
not worth while for the ofificeholders' visiting to collect the revenue, 
assess the taxes, or to enforce the laws. 

Thus, the influence of all the adjacent counties being secured, 
and those losing terrritory, the necessary votes were easily secured 
from those counties not interested ; and it was thus our municipal, 
political division was created, not by the wishes of her people, or 
from the requirements of government, but to settle selfish disputes 
rending the partisans and disturbing the equilibrium of other old- 
established communities ; and from the date of its creation, al- 
though opposed by a large majority of its own citizens, the weak- 
ling has grown and prospered and flourished, until no son or daugh- 
ter within her territory is ashamed that he is a native of Summers 
County. It is truly a child of necessity. 

Upon the organization of the new county, it was divided into 
five townships, now designated as districts, which were named 
Jumping Branch, Pipestem, Greenbrier, Green Sulphur and Forest 
Hill, Jumping Branch and Pipestem being formed from the terri- 
tory taken from Mercer, Forest Hill and a part of Greenbrier from 
Monroe, and Green Sulphur from Fayette and Greenbrier, and 
Greenbrier Township from Monroe and Greenbrier counties. Jump- 
ing Branch was the name of that township before it was cut off 
from Mercer County; afterwards, in the year 1877, Greenbrier 
Township was divided and Talcott District formed therefrom ; and 
the territorial divisions of the county thus remain to this day. 

At the date of the formation of the county, the designation of 
townships was the legal title ; but they were afterward, by statute, 
changed to districts, and the territorial divisions of the county are 
now known as the Magisterial Districts. 

When Evan Hinton and his associates began the agitation for 
a new county, others undertook a counter movement, and an at- 
tempt was made to head off Hinton's enterprise and secure a new 
county out of practically the same territory, with New Richmond 
for the county-seat. This movement was headed and promoted 
by the late Dr. Samuel WilHams, a distinguished physician and 


surgeon, then located at New Richmond, ten miles west of Hinton. 
The advocates of this proposed county organized, selected and 
sent Mr. Andrew P. Pence, now of Pence's Springs, and Harrison 
Gwinn, now of Green Sulphur Springs, to Charleston to lobby for 
the proposed new county, and to defeat Hinton's project; but met 
with disastrous failure, as the results show. 

A number of surveys were made, Joseph Keaton, a surveyor of 
Pipestem District, and Hon. Wm. Haynes, of Talcott District, 
doing the greater part of the work ; and the first, and probably the 
only ofifiicial map of the county, so far as the writer is informed, 
was made by Joseph Keaton, who died several years ago, and who 
was the first county surveyor of the county, appointed on its for- 
mation, and who held until the first election for county officers 
in the county, when the late Michael Smith was elected to 
that office. Senator Wm. Haynes, referred to, now deceased, was 
the father of our present townsman of the Hinton Department Co., 
and of Harry Haynes, a commissioner of the County Court of the 

The Act of the Legislature creating the county provides that 
the county-seat shall be located at the mouth of Greenbrier River, 
frO'm which uncertain wording grew lengthy and hard-fought liti- 
gation. It was claimed by the advocates above Greenbrier River 
that what is now Foss Postoffice, or near that point, was the mouth 
of Greenbrier River; and by those below the river, that the mouth 
was near the present Upper Hinton Ferry, at or near the point of 
the Hinton Island. In the meantime, the old log Baptist Church, 
situated about two miles up New River from Foss, was proclaimed 
as the court house, and there a number of the courts of the county 
were held. Afterwards, the court house was removed and estab- 
lished over the printing office of Mr. C. L. Thompson, on the side 
of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway track, near the railroad cross- 
ing, in what is now the city of Avis. This building was burned 
down in the year 1875, and the storehouse building of John H. 
Pack, about opposite the point of the Hinton Island, was adopted 
as the court house — that is, the upper story thereof. The house 
was a one-story frame, and was ceiled under the rafters and seated 
with rough wooden benches, and there the courts were held for 
some time, until the old brick court house on the present site was 
built. The circuit and county clerks' offices were both first located 
at what is now Foss, near the ferry at the mouth of Greenbrier, in 
an old one-story log house, a mile and a quarter from the present 


court house, later used as a storehouse, and now used for storage 
of junk. 

When it came to permanently locating the court house and 
letting its construction to contract, then began the legal conflicts 
which waged vigorously for a number of years. Dr. John G. Man- 
ser and E. B. Meador, Esq., both now deceased, were the princi- 
pal champions for the location at Foss, and Evan Hinton and oth- 
ers for the opposite side of Greenbrier River, in what is now Avis. 
At one time the erection of the court house was let to contract and 
the work begun, at a location on the island where Dr. B. P. Gooch 
afterwards built his residence, and where the late John S. Ewart 
resided at the time of his death. The brick were burned on that 
ground; but the inevitable injunction came, and the hopes of the 
islanders were shattered. 

Finally the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad Company took hold 
of the situation, and proposed to the county court to give to the 
county three acres of land for county purposes, which included 
Square "U," on the hill and what is now within the territorial lim- 
its of the city of Hinton, where the present court house is now 
situated, if the court would permanently locate the court house on 
that property, which proposition was accepted ; and in 1874 Hon. 

Wm. Haynes and were appointed by the County 

Court a committee to draft plans for a new court house, and in 1875 
a contract was made between the county authorities and Colonel 
John C. McDonald, of Fayetteville, West Virginia, for the construc- 
tion of the first court house on the present site, which was completed 
about the year 1876, and occupied in 1877. Out of this contract 
grew considerable litigation, the contractor not having built the 
house according to plans, specification^ and agreement, for the con- 
tract price agreed upon was $14,000. The acceptance of this prop- 
osition by the county authorities terminated the litigation over the 
location of the county-seat and court house, and the same has re- 
mained undisturbed up to the present time. 

The legal location of the "mouth of the Greenbrier River" thus 
remains undetermined by the courts until this day and time. 

Very few of the public records were destroyed by the court 
house fire; but we find some missing, which prevents us from giv- 
ing the exact date of a very few of the transactions of those times. 

The Pack storehouse, in the garret of which the court house 
was located, was afterwards washed off by the great flood of 1878, 
which destroyed about fifteen houses, and that part of what was 
then known as the town of Hinton. 

(Old Pack Mansion House.) 



tILDEK fOuW0A,riONa. 


The first court house built by the county was a two-story, prac- 
tically square structure, fifty feet square. 

At the passage of the formation Act, Hon. Moses Scott was the 
delegate from Raleigh County; Hon. Richard Allen Flanagan, from 
Fayette; Hon. B. F. Ballard, from Monroe; Hon. Sylvester Upton, 
from Mercer, and Capt. A. W. Mann, from Greenbrier. 



At the date of the formation of Summers County, under the 
laws then existing, the county affairs were conducted by a board 
of supervisors, which transacted the fiscal and road matters, and 
performed practically the same duties which are now performed by 
the commissioners of the County Court. The first supervisors of 
the county were : William Haynes, of Greenbrier Township ; 
Ephraim J. Gwinn, of Green Sulphur Township ; Samuel Allen, of 
Forest Hill Township ; James Houchins, of Pipestem Township, 
and Joseph Cox, of Jumping Branch Township, all of whom are 
now dead, Mr. Cox and Mr. Haynes being the last survivors. The 
Hon. J. M. McWhorter was the first judge of the Circuit Court of 
the county, filling the ofiice for something over two years after its 
formation, by appointment, to fill a vacancy in the then circuit of 
which this county was a part, which vacancy was caused by the 
impeachment of Nathaniel Harrison for corruption in office, and 
for what in modern times is appropriately termed "graft." 

Under the law, the judge of the Circuit Court appointed all 
county officers, to hold until the next general election, which was 
in the year 1872, following the establishment of the county. Evan 
Hinton, the "Father of the County," was appointed the first sheriff, 
and gave bond in the penalty of $30,000, with Andrew L. Lilly, 
Wm. I. Lilly, Avis Hinton, Wm. T. Meador, John Hinton, Joseph 
Hinton and Silas Hinton as the sureties on the first bond ; and Jo- 
seph Hinton, Richard Woodrum, Joseph Ellis, Wm. Hinton, Wm. 
T. A'leador, Avis Hinton and John Hinton, as sureties on the sec- 
ond of said bonds, one being for the general purposes, and the 
other to cover school funds. These appointments were made about 
the last of April, 1871, and the appointments continued until the 
first of January, 1873. Joseph Keaton was appointed the first sur- 
veyor, and executed bond, with Wm. Hughes and A. L. Harvey 
as his sureties. Josephus B. Pack was appointed recorder, there 
being no clerk of the County Court at that time, and gave bond, 


with John H. Dunn, Joseph N. Haynes and Goodall Garten as his 
sureties. P. P. Peck was appointed commissioner of school lands, 
on the 9th day of September, 1873, and gave bond, with M. Smith, 
M. A. Manning and E. H. Peck as his sureties. Erastus H. Peck 
was appointed a commissioner in chancery, on the 10th day of 
September, 1875, and executed bond, with M. Smith, George W. 
Chatting and Elbert Fowler as his sureties. A. H. Meador was 
appointed the first clerk of the Circuit Court. Nelson M. Lowry 
was the first notary appointed for the county, and executed bond 
on the 25th day of September, 1871, with Thomas B. Gwinn as his 
surety. B. L. Hoge was appointed the first general receiver of the 
Circuit Court, and gave bond on the 12th day of September, 1877, 
with B. P. Gooch, Evan Hinton, M. A. Manning and M. Smith as 
his sureties. Josephus B. Pack, the first elected clerk of the county, 
died in office, and was succeeded by his deputy, E. H. Peck. 

The first record made in the County Court, so far as I am able 
to find, was by Josephus B. Pack, recorder, which is as follows: 

"State of West Virginia. At Rules held in the recorder's office, 
in Summers County, on Monday, the 8th day of May, 1871, in the 
eighth year of the State." 

The first record of a conveyance of land is as follows : 

"A deed of bargain and sale from Griiiith Meadows and wife 
to Sarah Woodson, bearing date the 9th day of December, 1870, 
conveying four-ninths of all the lands of Mathew Kincaid, de- 
ceased (except the widow's dower while she lives), lying on the 
north side of Greenbrier River, and on Hunghart's Creek. Admit- 
ted April 27, 1871. J. P. Pack, R., S. Co." 

The next entry is 1871, April 29th, and is a conveyance by 
William Crump to the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad Company, for 
a one-ninth undivided interest in the Isaac Ballangee land for a 
double track railway. Griffith Meadows is still living, and resides 
in Monroe County, West Virginia. AVilliam Crump has long since 

The first record of a county court held in the county that I 
have been able to find from the records, is January 21, 1873. On 
January 1, 1873, the new law took efTect by which the Board of 
Supervisors was abolished, and the law establishing the county 
courts took effect. The record of January 21, 1873, shows "present, 
Wm. T. Meador, C. R. Hines, A. L. Harvey, Robert Gore, J. A. 
Parker, Henry Milburn, gentlemen justices." The county court 
was then composed of the justices of the peace of each district of 


the county, except the president of the court, who was elected as 

At this term of the court the bonds of J. B. Pack, as clerk; 
Evan Hinton, as sheriff ; Michael Smith, as surveyor ; Wellington 
Cox, as assessor, J. S. Lilly, as constable of Jumping Branch Dis- 
trict, and Jacob C. Allen, constable of Forest Hill District, were 
approved, and at this session the Rev. John Bragg was appointed 
and qualified as^deputy clerk of the county court, and Joseph Ellis 
and B. P. Shumate were appointed deputy sheriffs. William H. 
Lilly was appointed deputy assessor for Wellington Cox. J. M. 
McWhorter and N. M. Lowry were qualified to practice law in the 
courts on the motion of W. G. Ryan. S. W. Willey, the present 
postmaster at Hinton, was appointed constable for Greenbrier Dis- 

At this term of the court a motion was made by R. A. Vincent, 
who resided one mile and a half from New Richmond, on Lick 
Creek, in Green Sulphur District, for the appointment of justice 
of the peace, wdiich was rejected. Said Vincent claimed that the 
district was entitled to two justices, by reason of the population at 
that time being sufficient therefor, and submitted his motion to the 
old Board of Supervisors for his appointment. W. P. Hinton was 
appointed by the Board of Supervisors to make a census of the 
population of Green Sulphur District, and report. His report was 
made to the county court (as the Board of Supervisors had been 
abolished), and was then rejected, and said Vincent took his bill 
of exceptions from the action of the county court, which is the 
first record of any appeal from the action of any court in the county, 
and which apeal was lost to Mr. Vincent. 

Albert J. Austin, at this term, was appointed constable for Pipe- 
stem District on the motion of Robert Gore. On the 21st day of 
January, 1873, Robert Gore, E. B. Meador and Wm, Haynes were 
appointed by the county court commissioners for the purpose of 
drafting a plan for the court house and other public buildings. 
On motion of C. R. Hines, W. G. Ryan, N. M. Lowry and E. H. 
Peck were appointed commissioners in chancery of the county 
court, and they were the first commissioners in chancery of the 
county court, and on this date the following motion was recorded : 

"On motion, the Baptist Church heretofore used as a court house 
is hereby adopted as the court house of the county." 

The March and July Terms were designated as the levy terms 
of the court and for transacting the fiscal affairs. 

Henry Milburn and J. A. Parker were selected as associate 


justices to hold the January Term of the court, and C. R. Hines 
and Robert Gore were selected as associate justices to hold the 
May Term of the court, and A. L. Harvey and Marion Gwinn as 
associate justices to hold the November Term. The May and No- 
vember Terms were designated as Grand Jury Terms. 

From the foregoing proceedings it will be observed that there 
was a great contrast between the judicial machinery of the courts 
then and at the present time, and that great advancement for the 
better and improvements have been made in the operation of the 
machinery of justice and in legal afifairs. 

This court was composed solely of justices of the peace, except 
the president, neither of whom was required to be a lawyer or a 
person learned in law, and had jurisdiction to try actions at law 
and suits in chancery, with grand juries to indict persons accused 
of crime, and petit juries to try indictments and all character of 
criminal ofifenses, as well as civil actions. In the absence of the 
president, a justice of the peace acted as president pro tern. 

The next term of this court was held on the 18th day of Oc- 
tober, 1873. At this term Erastus C. Stevens was granted a license 
to keep a house of entertainment, and Erastus H. Peck was ap- 
pointed ar.d qualified as deputy clerk of the county court. David 
G. Ballangee, of Clayton, was appointed a road surveyor, also 
Andrew Gwinn and Osborne Kesler, of Lowell, were appointed 
road surveyors, and Robert Gore, a member of the court, qualified 
as administrator of the personal estate of Nancy Dwiggins, de- 
ceased, and two of the other "gentlemen justices of the court," 
Allen L. Harvey and C. R. Hines, became his surety on his bond 
in the penalty of sixteen dollars ($16.00), according to the record; 
evidently intended for sixteen hundred dollars ($1,600.00). 

Hon. A. N. Campbell, who was afterwards judge of the circuit 
court of this county, was admitted to the practice of the law in this 
court, at this term, on the motion of W. G. Ryan. 

The first jail occupied in the county was a small, one-story, 
hewed log house, located near the railroad crossing in the city of 
Avis. It was entirely insecure, and was principally used for pris- 
oners charged with misdemeanors. The jails at Lewisburg, Beck- 
ley and Monroe being adapted and used from time to time, until 
the present jail was built, about the year 1884, from bonds issued 
by the county after the question of bonding the county had been 
submitted to a vote and adopted. The present jail and only one 
built by the county is two-story, of brick, with modern steel cells, 
there being two cells in the upper story used for female and mis- 


demeanor prisoners. These were not placed until within the last 
four or five years as demand for more room, the upper part of the 
jail building being originally occupied by the jailer's family. The 
old log jail house is owned by Joseph Hinton, and is about twelve 
feet square. The present brick jail house is about 20 x 30 feet, and 
is heated by steam. 

The first session of any judicial body in the county was of the 
Board of Supervisors, who met in the old log residence of Avis 
Hinton, on the railway track (later torn down for double track 
room), at the foot of the hill near the railway and street crossing, 
but nothing seems to have been done and no record made. A con- 

West Virginia. In Summers Circuit Court, September 8, 1874. 
Present, His Honor, Homer A. Holt, Judge. 

The following are the names of the first grand jury that was 
impanneled in the circuit court that we have a record of in the 
county, a portion of the first records of the county having been 
destroyed by fire: Maj. James A, Hutchison, foreman, dead; A. A. 
Miller, dead; A. P. Pence, living; James Cales, dead; Charles Gar- 
ten, living; Lockridge Gwinn, dead; James Ferrell, dead; Robert 
W. Meadows, dead; J. S. Dodd, dead; O. H. Caperton, dead; G. L. 
Jordan, dead; Jacob Mann, living; Henry Gore, dead; Robert W. 
Lilly, living (Shooting Bob). 

Since writing the previous chapter, we have fortunately been 
able to resurrect the record book of the Board of Supervisors, which 
was preserved from the fire which destroyed the first court room 
in Hinton, and also the Mountain Herald printing office, situated 
near the railway crossing at the foot of the hill. 

The first recorded meeting of the Board of Supervisors for the 
county was held at the mouth of Greenbrier, in the old log store- 
house (one-story) which is still standing and used by Miller 
Brothers as a storage place for junk, etc. 

The first order of record ever entered in and for the county 
was by the Hon. Marion Gwinn, a son of Ephraim and Rachel 
Gwinn, of Green Sulphur Springs, as clerk of the Board of Super- 
visors, which we give below : 

"State of West Virginia, mouth of Greenbrier River, March 
28, 1871. This day, in pursuance of an act of the Legislature of 
West Virginia, passed on February 27, 1871, the Board of Super- 


visors, composed of Samuel Allen, Joseph Cox, E. J. Gwinri and 
William Haynes, met at the mouth of Greenbrier River for the 
purpose of organizing the county of Summers, and, after being 
qualified by a justice of the peace, Samuel Allen was chosen presi- 
dent, and Marion Gwinn was elected and qualified as clerk of said 

The board then proceeded to divide the county into five town- 
ships — -Forest Hill, Greenbrier, Jumping Branch, Pipestem and 
Green Sulphur. Then this board proceeded to give the boundary 
lines of each township, all of which boundaries remain the same to 
this day, except Greenbrier, which was afterwards divided, and 
Talcott District formed therefrom in 1877. 

The place of voting at Forest Hill Township was fixed at James 
Keatley's, at the mouth of Indian Creek ; Green Sulphur Springs 
was fixed as the voting place of Green Sulphur Township ; Jumping 
Branch for Jumping Branch Township, and the court house for 
Greenbrier Township. 

Michael Smith was appointed constable for Forest Hill. Of 
this Board of Supervisors appointed by Judge McWhorter, two 
were Republicans, Samuel Allen and Joseph Cox, and two were 
Democrats, William Haynes and E. J. Gwinn. Joseph Cox resided 
near Jumping Branch, at which place he continued to reside until 
the date of his death a few years ago. He was the Republican 
party's candidate for commissioner of the county court at the elec- 
tion in 190 — . Samuel Allen was a resident of Wolf Creek in Forest 
Hill District, where he continued to reside until his death a few 
years ago. William Haynes resided at Haynes' Ferry, on Green- 
brier River, in Talcott District, and E. J. Gwinn resided at Green 
Sulphur Springs in Green Sulphur District, at which places they 
resided until their deaths. 

James Boyd was appointed by the board as assessor for the 
county, and gave bond on the 28th day of March, 1871, and was the 
first assessor of the county. He resided on Greenbrier River, near 
the "Little Ben Tunnel," where his son, Benjamin Boyd, now re- 
sides, he being the owner of the old Boyd homestead, and is a 
respectable and intelligent citizen of the county. 

The board then proceeded to appoint the various overseers of 
roads for the entire county, designating the respective hands to 
work on each road. The public roads were then maintained by 
public labor of as many days as might be fixed by the Board of 
Supervisors, each person between the ages of twenty-one and forty- 
five years being recfuired, for the first year in the life of the 


county, to work six days himself, or provide a legal substitute. 
Andrew Gwinn was appointed a justice of the peace for Greenbrier 
District. This is the gentleman known as "Long Andy," who still 
resides at Lowell with his son, James Gwinn, being one of the 
best-known farmers and citizens in this section of the state. He 
is now about eighty years of age, but is hale and hearty. Soon 
after his appointment he resigned his office as justice, and we 
notice at this session of the court he was directed to turn over his 
papers to Joseph Grimmett, a justice of the county. 

Reverend Rufus Pack, on the 28th day of January, 1871, was 
authorized by the board to procure the necessary material and have 
built a plank building sixteen feet wide; height, one-story, the 
width of the church, the same to be divided by plank partition in 
the middle, to be used for jury rooms for the use of the jurors, and 
to have same in readiness by the 29th day of April ; also to make 
three tables, one three feet square, and two 3x8 feet, of poplar. 

The second meeting of the Board of Supervisors was held on 
the 15th day of April, 1871. I notice the order book of the pro- 
ceedings of the board was signed by Samuel Allen, president; by 
M. Gwinn, clerk. At this April meeting the members of the board 
present were Samuel, Allen, president ; Joseph Cox, James Houch- 
ins, William Haynes and E. J. Gwinn ; James Houchins having 
been appointed for Pipestem District. E. J, Gwinn resigned at 
this meeting as a member, and Harrison Gwinn, his son, was elected 
by the board in his stead to fill the vacancy until the next election 
by the people. Littlebury Noble, who still lives in this county 
and is well known as Berry Noble, was at this term of the board 
exempted from working on the roads. The following order was 
entered : 

"Be it ordained by the board that Rufus Pack be, and he is 
hereby granted a license to keep a house of private entertainment 
at his present place of residence." 

Mr. Pack was a minister of the Missionary Baptist Church, and 
resided about two miles up New River from the mouth of Green- 
brier River, on what is known as the Plumley farm, he owning 
that place at that time. Josephus Pack was authorized to purchase 
books, stationery, etc., necessary for the offices of the clerks of the 
circuit and county courts and recorder, and to rent a house to be 
used as clerk's and recorder's ofiices, at the sum of $25.00 per year. 
The board seems to have been an economical set of officials, and 
I doubt if one of them knew what the word "graft" meant as to its 
modern political signification. 


The question of the location of the court house began to be 
agitated at this time, and the board entered the following order, 
which is the first mention of this matter of record : 

"Be it ordained that the 4th day of May be and is hereby set 
apart for the selection by the board of a site for the court house." 

The first election held in the new county for any purpose seems 
to have been held only in Pipestem District, on the 27th day of 
April, 1871. We are unable to ascertain from the records, which 
are very meager, for what purpose this township election was held. 
The only record is as follows : 

"In the township of Pipestem 255 votes were cast for ratification 
and ten votes for rejection." 

This may have been an election for the adoption of a new road 
law, the ratification of the Act of the Legislature forming Summers 
County, the amendment of the Constitution, or for any other pur- 
pose, so far as the records disclose. 

Hon. William Haynes resigned as a member of the board for 
Greenbrier District, and Archie Allen was elected to fill the va- 
cancy. James Boyd, assessor, resigned his office as such at this 
term of the board (May 3, 1871). Allen H. Meador, afterwards 
clerk of the circuit court for six years and president of the county 
court for six years, and an uncle of the present county clerk of this 
county, Jos. M. Meador, was appointed in the stead of Mr. Boyd. 

Jacob C. Allen was the first constable of Forest Hill District, 
and was the first in the county, being appointed on the third day 
of May, 1871. And on this day James Keatley was granted license 
to keep a hotel and sell "ardent" liquors at the mouth of Indian 
Creek. This was the first liquor license ever granted in the county. 
Mr. Keatley, several years afterwards, again applied to the county 
court for license to retail spirituous liquors at the same place, being 
represented in making the application by the late Col. James W. 
Davis, an attorney of Greenbrier County, which application was 
refused, at which action of the court he was very much disgusted, 
took a bill of exceptions for an appeal to the circuit court, but, of 
course, was defeated, as the action of the county court was final 
in such matters. John Richmond was granted a license to keep 
a house of private entertainment at the mouth of Lick Creek, and 
John Richmond & Company to sell "ardent" spirits at the same 
place; D. J. Cogbill to sell the "ardent" between Capt. Menifee's 
and the "Big Ben Tunnel," and Thos. F. Park to keep a hotel and 
sell the "ardent" on "Big Ben Tunnel" Mountain. 

.At this date the board ordained that the former order, in re the 


location of the court house be rescinded, and the location of the 
court house be postponed until the location of the depot of the 
Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad is determined. 

The next meeting of this board was held at the mouth of Green- 
brier River on the third Monday in May in the one-story log store- 
house still standing. Rev. Rufus Pack was allowed $63.00 for labor, 
etc., for erecting jury rooms. Samuel Huffman, one of the most 
substantial citizens of the county, and who still resides on Wolf 
Creek, an aged and respected Christian gentleman, and Samuel K. 
Boude, the father of our present genial clerk of the circuit court, 
and Major Richard Woodrum, were each appointed road surveyors. 
We take it that the law at that time authorized the Board of Super- 
visors to "appoint" the jurors for the county, and each juror, both 
petit and grand, was elected by the Board of Supervisors and 
summoned by the sherifif. The board at this meeting made an 
order that it should meet once in each month. 

The first record of any ferry established by the new county was 
made by the Board of Supervisors on the 9th day of June, 1871, by 
an order granted to Nathan Meadows for a ferry across Greenbrier 
River. This ferry was located at Foss, across Greenbrier River 
at its mouth, now owned by A, E. and Charles Lewis Miller, and 
the rates of ferriage were fixed as follows : 

Foot passengers $ .05 

Horse and rider 10 

Two horses and wagon 25 

And for every additional horse 05 

No provision being made for transportation of any other property. 
At the June Term, Andrew L. Lilly, was appointed overseer of the 
poor for Jumping Branch Township, and was the first overseer of 
the poor of the county. The keeping of the paupers in those days 
for the county was sold out to the lowest bidder at the court house. 
The county was not the owner of any pauper farm or regular place 
for maintenance of the poor, and at that time and most of the time 
to the present, the keeping of the paupers was sold out to the lowest 
bidder annually. 

The Board seemed to be pestered with the question of the court 
house site, and on the 19th day of June, 1871, entered the following 
order : 

"Be it ordained by the board that the order postponing the time 
for the location of the site of the court house until the location of 
the depot of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad is hereby rescinded, 


and the following order is made: 'Be it ordained by the Board of 
Supervisors of the county of Summers that the board determine, 
by vote of same, whether the site of the court house and other pub- 
lic buildings shall be on the north bank of Greenbrier River on the 
land of Messrs. Hinton, immediately on the line between Hinton 
and Bolinges (intended for Ballangee), or whether the same shall 
be located on the north bank of Greenbrier River immediately abo-xc 
the residence and orchard of Evi Ballangee.' " 

The vote was then taken and resulted as follows : Supervisors 
Joseph Cox and Harrison Gwinn voting to locate said site on the 
lands of the Messrs, Hinton, immediately on the line between Hin- 
ton and Ballangee, and Supervisors Samuel Allen, Archie Allen and 
James Houchins voting to locate said site on the north bank of 
Greenbrier River, immediately above the residence and orchard of 
Evi Ballangee. And the board this day selected 1^ acres of land 
lying on the north bank of Greenbrier, above the residence of said 
Ballangee, upon which to locate the court house and other "public 
buildings of the county. Said 1^ acres of land was described by 
metes and bounds. 

On the 17th day of July, the following order was entered, in re 
court house site : 

"Be it ordained by the Board of Supervisors that the word 
'Greenbrier' be erased from the order designating the site of the 
location for the court house and other public buildings." 

Evidently the location of these buildings was waxing warm in 
those days. The place of voting at New Richmond in Green Sul- 
phur Township was established on the 17th day of July, 1871, by 
the Board of Supervisors. Robert A. Vincent, heretofore men- 
tioned, was, on July 17th, appointed overseer of the poor for Green 
Sulphur Township, and was the first to ever hold that ofifice in that 
district. It would seem that Mr. Vincent was bound to have an 
ofifice, and the court, in order to dispose of the matter, not being 
able to make him a "squire," made him an overseer of the poor, 
and that, for the time being, satisfied his official ambition. 

The first disbursement of public money of the county was by 
an order entered on the 17th day of July, 1871, and was the authority 
for the payment of $63.00 allowed to Rufus Pack ; the second was 
to M. A. Manning for five dollars for services rendered in securing 
books, stationery, etc. The third Monday in August. 1871, an 
allowance was made of $336.53 to Thomas F. Park & Company, 
for books, paper, etc. 

The keeping of the paupers for the first year of the history of 


the county was let to R. C. Lilly, the lowest bidder, for $600.00. 
The ferry at Talcott was established for Griffith Meadows on the 
third Monday in August, 1871, and the rates of ferriage were fixed 
as follows: 

Two horses and wagon $ .25 

One way for every additional horse 05 

Horse and rider 10 

Foot passengers 05 

This ferry is still in existence, never having been discontinued. 
This ferry was established at what was known then as Rollinsburg, 
now Talcott, Rollinsburg being the name of the post office at that 
place up to the time of the building of the Chesapeake & Ohio Rail- 
road through this county in 1872. 

An allowance of $20.00 rent was made at this term to the trus- 
tees of the Greenbrier Baptist Church for its use as a court house 
for one year. The first assessment of land and property of the 
county was made by Allen H. Meador, who was appointed, as 
stated before, to succeed James Boyd, resigned, for which services 
Mr. Meador was allowed at this term of the court the sum of 
$225.00. Marion Gwinn was allowed the sum of $200.00 for clerking 
for the Board of Supervisors, and the following is the first order 
for taxation made in the county : 

"Be it ordained by the board that a levy of eighty-five cents 
per one hundred dollars assessed valuation be and is hereby made 
upon the land and property of the county of Summers, to defray 
the expenses of same." 

Rufus H. Shumate was granted a license to retail "ardent" 
spirits at Mercer Salt Works, which was near the mouth of Lick 
Creek in the upper end of Pipestem Township, and about twenty- 
five miles from the court house. 

On the third day of September, 1871, the board entered an 
order directing Joseph Keaton, surveyor of the county, to make a 
complete map of the county, which map was made by Mr. Keaton, 
and is the only map ever made or authorized by the county au- 

The first election held in the county seems to have been on the 
26th day of October, 1871, and was for the election of senators 
and delegates to the Legislature. Summers, at that time was in 
the delegate district, composed of Monroe, Greenbrier and Sum- 
mers, from which three members of the Legislature were elected. 
At this election also a member of the constitutional convention 


was elected from the senatorial district. The Board of Supervisors 
met at the mouth of Greenbrier to canvass the vote. The following 
county and other officers were elected: 

John Sims, for supervisor of Greenbrier Township ; James 
Hutchinson, for supervisor of Forest Hill Township ; James Houch- 
ins, for supervisor of Pipestem Township ; Levi Neely, for super- 
visor of Jumping Branch Township ; A. A. Miller, for supervisor 
of Green Sulphur Township. 

The following township officers were elected : For Greenbrier 
Township, Henry Milburn and C. R. Hines, justices of the peace; 
James Boyd and George W. Chattin, inspectors of election ; con- 
stables, S. W. Willey and C. A. Aliller; school commissioners, 
William H. Barger and A. C. Kesler; overseer of the poor, C. K. 
Rollyson; township clerk, Henry F. Kesler. 

For Forest Hill the following township officers were elected: 
Township clerk, A. E. Cotton; justice of the peace, Samuel K. 
Boude; inspectors of election, L. D. Garten and S. Simms ; con- 
stable, J. C. Allen; school commissioners, J. K. Sanders and Richard 
Woodrum ; overseer of the poor, Goodall Garten. 

For Pipestem Township the following officers were elected: 
Township clerk, Joseph Keaton ; justice of the peace, James Farley; 
inspectors of election, Ellison and William Hughes ; constable, 
Reuben Hopkins ; overseer of the poor, William Crump ; overseer 
of roads, Evan B, Neely. 

For Jumping Branch the following township officers were 
elected: Township clerk, John H. Lilly; justice of the peace, John 
F. Deeds; inspectors of election, John A. Lilly and W. P. Lilly; 
constable, Mathias Crook; school commissioners, Robert P. Lilly 
and William C. Dobbins ; overseer of the poor, Preston Pack. 

For Green Sulphur Township the following officers were elected : 
For supervisor, A. A. Miller; township clerk, G. W. Goddard ; jus- 
tice of the peace, M. Gwinn ; inspectors of election, John Hix and 
S. F. Taylor; constable, William R. Taylor; school commissioners, 
M. Hutchinson, T. A. George and C. W. Withrow ; overseer of the 
poor, R. A. Vincent; surveyor of roads, J. H. Martin, M. Dunbar and 
James Gales. 

These names are nearly all familiar, many of them still being 
residents of the county, but some have gone to their great ac- 
counting and some have gone to foreign parts. They were nearly 
all personally known to the writer. Those mentioned from Green 
Sulphur Township, I notice, are all dead, except Hon. M. Gwinn, 
C. W. Withrow and Thomas A. George. 


The supervisors or commissioners of election in those days 
seem to have been elected as well as road surveyors by the vote of 
the people. At this meeting of the board, which was for the pur- 
pose of canvassing the vote, a license was granted to William Gwinn 
to sell "ardent" spirits at the mouth of Meadow Creek. 

The records do not give the vote for county or district officers. 
It sets forth simply the names of those who received a majority 
and were elected. We find for other offices, however, the vote set 
out in lull, and we find the results as follows: 

"The Board of Supervisors of the county of Summers, having 
carefully and impartially examined the returns of the election held 
on the 26th day of October, do hereby certify that in said county 
for the office of representative for the Senatorial district in th'e 
State Constitutional Convention, Samuel Price received 509 votes 
and William McCreery received 205 votes ; and for the office of 
representative for the delegate district in the state constitutional 
convention, Henry M. Mathews received 520 votes, James M. Burn- 
side received 474 votes, and William Haynes received 613 votes." 

Samuel Price was ex-Lieutenant Governor of the State of Vir- 
ginia ; William McCreery was the father of our townsman, Mr. 
James T. McCreery, and resided in Raleigh County. Henry M. 
Mathews was afterwards Attorney-General and Governor of the 
State. William Haynes was elected to the Constitutional Conven- 
tion, and was also elected to the State Senate later. 

At the first meeting^ of the Board of Supervisors held after the 
election, which was January 2, 1872, James A. Hutchinson, of Forest 
Hill Township, was elected president ; M. Gwinn was again ap- 
pointed clerk, and the newly elected members, A. A. Miller, Levi 
Neely and John Simms, took their seats and composed the board 
until that office was abolished under the new Constitution, which 
took effect January 1, 1873. Air. James A. Hutchinson, elected 
president of the board, was a resident of Forest Hill Township, 
and died in the year 18 — . He was a Republican in politics, having 
been a Whig before the War. His children and descendants reside 
in the county. A more detailed family history will be given later 
in this work. 

At this time a controversy arose, the efifects of which are still 
felt by a large part of the citizens of the county, in regard to the 
destruction of the county road by the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad 
Company, between Hinton and New Richmond. The railroad com- 
pany was constructing its track and destroying the road which fol- 


lowed the river between those points, it being impossible to build 
a railroad without obstructing or destroying the county road, by 
reason of the hills coming down to the margin of the river. An 
agreement was entered into between the board and the vice-presi- 
dent of the road, W. T. Wickam, by the terms of which the board 
agreed that the railroad company should proceed with its work until 
the grading was completed, at which time the company should 
replace the county road in as good repair as it was before the 
obstructions. The railroad company went on and completed its 
road, and, when it came to replacing the county road, as railway 
companies and some corporations frequently do, disregarded their 
contracts, agreements and moral obligations. The county court, 
from the orders entered, showed that they were unable to get the 
county road replaced. ^The railway company was likely to go into 
the hands of a receiver in bankruptcy in order to pay for its con- 
struction. The county court appointed M. Gwinn as commissioner 
to make a settlement, which was done by the acceptance of 
$3,000.00; the court and Mr. Gwinn going on the hypothesis that 
something was better than nothing. 

This is an instance of the infidelity of foreign corporations to 
promises of which they can squirm out. Having taken the county 
road bed, it was a matter of very considerable cost to replace the 
county road, and it may be years before the people in that part of 
the county will have a practical county road, upon which they can 
travel from Green Sulphur to the court house. The road was of 
no consequence, but the loss of the road bed and right of way was 
wherein the people suffered. 

The Board of Supervisors seems to have been an economical 
and provident body, and required full time to be given by those 
engaged in the public service, as will be observed from an order 
made at ihe January Term. 1872, in which it "appointed the as- 
sessor, surveyor, sheriff and recorder a committee to correct the 
land books of the county," and required them to meet at the clerk's 
office on the third Monday in March, at nine o'clock a. m.. 1872, 
for that purpose, and that they adjourn on the following Wed- 
nesday at four o'clock p. m. 

We note that on the third Monday in February, 1872, James 
Houchins voted against approving the record of the last prior 
meeting. It seems that they had obstreperous members in those 
days, as well as at the present time. 

John K, Withrow, of Green Sulphur District, was appointed 


at that term of the court as constable. James A. Houchins, the 
president, was appointed to visit the paupers, and he was also 
directed to visit Reuben Johnson and try to procure for him a 
bounty from "Uncle Sam" for some kind of public services rendered 
some time in the past. Our old friend, I. G. Garden, was appointed 
an auctioneer at that time, and holds the appointment to this day. 
License to retail "ardent" spirits was granted to Dr. J. G. Manser 
at the mouth of Greenbrier. 

There seems to have been wolves and varmints in the county 
in those days, which were not desirable in the development of the 
country, and we find the following order recorded at the February 
Term, 1872 : 

"Be it ordained by the board that an allowance of $35.00 be and 
is hereby allowed for the killing of grown wolves, and half price 
for all under six months of age. Said wolves to be killed within 
the bounds of the county." 

I do not find but one record of an allowance having been made 
under this order, which was to James R. Wheeler, and is as follows : 

"James R. Wheeler was allowed for one grown wolf killed, 
$35.00; three half-grown wolves, $52.50." 

It seems that the board must have had some unruly litigants 
and advocates from the order entered at this sitting, from which 
the following order grew, in order to improve the manners of those 
in attendance: 

"No person shall be allowed to interrupt another while address- 
ing the board in regard to any matter in which the speaker may 
be concerned, and, further, that any insult offered any member 
while engaged in the business of the board, will be proceeded 
against according to law." 

The question of the purchase of a poor farm began to agitate 
the county authorities from the beginning, and on the 20th day of 
May, 1872, James Houchins and James Roles, who then resided 
near the mouth of Bluestone River, where Jonathan Lee Barker 
now resides, were appointed a committee to inquire into the expe- 
diency of purchasing a poor farm. 

It seems that the circuit court at that time also had to stir up 
these authorities in regard to seating the court room, as we do at 
this time, and an order was entered requiring the same to be pro- 

I find the delinquent taxes for the year ending the first Wed- 


nesday in August, 1872, were as follpws, and were allowed to Evan 
Hinton, then sheriff: 

Green Sulphur Township $248.41 

Greenbrier Township 135.93 

Pipestem Township 49.08 

Jumping Branch Township 22.13 

Forest Hill Township 95.30 

For the year 1905 I find the delinquent tax allowed to H. Ewart, 
sheriff, as follows : 

Greenbrier $238.18 

Green Sulphur 161.19 

Forest Hill 19.97 

Pipestem 35.19 

Jumping Branch 187.85 

Talcott 173.41 

The amount of the tax tickets coming into the hands of the 
sheriff in 1904 being $50,000 approximately, and not including rail- 
way taxes, which is a remarkable showing, considering the increase 
in taxable property and funds coming into the sheriff's hands, and 
a better showing for no sheriff in any county can be had, we will 
warrant, in the United States, than the showing for the sheriff of 
this county, Mr. H. Ewart. M. Gwinn was appointed the first com- 
missioner to settle with the sheriff, which was on May 20, 1872. 

R. C. Lilly was' allowed at this date $900.00 for pauper allow- 
ance, which was for maintaining the paupers from June 20, 1872, 
to June 20, 1873. 

Ellison's voting precinct in Jumping Branch District was es- 
tablished at Francis Ellison's house on the 20th day of May, 1872, 
and also the voting precinct at the clerk's office was established. 

The amount of the county levy coming into the hands of Evan 
Hinton, sheriff during the first year's existence of the county as a 
municipality was $6,454.20, of which he owed on settlement 
$3,378.69, after all allowances. 

I find the amount of funds coming into the hands of the sheriff 
for the year 1904, the last sheriff's settlement preceding this date, 
was $ . 

The next general election held in the county was on the adop- 
tion of the ratification or rejection of the new and present Consti- 
tution, now in force in this State, subject to the more recent amend- 


ments, and also for State officers. The result in this county, so 
far as is disclosed by the records, is as follows : 

For ratification of the Constitution and Schedule 451 votes 

For rejection 262 

Total vote in the county 713 

For Governor: 

J. N. Camden, Democrat 480 

J. J. Jacobs, Independent 290 

For Attorney-General : 

H. M. Mathews, Democrat 516 

G. Cresap, Republican 

For Treasurer: 

John S. Burdette, Democrat 517 

W. P. Rathburne, Republican 191 , 

For Auditor: 

E. A. Bennett, Democrat 490 

A. M. Jacobs, Republican 199 

For Superintendent of Schools : 

B. W. Byrne, Democrat 483 

J. B. Hardwick, Republican 213 

For Judges Supreme Court of Appeals : 

A. F. Raymond 496 

James Paull 495 

J. S. Huffman 677 

R. L. Berkshire 162 

M. Edmiston 162 

E. Maxwell 162 

For House of Delegates: 

M. Gwinn, Democrat 637 

D. Fox 20 

And the following order was entered : 

"Be it ordained by the board that the following persons are 
declared elected for the following county offices : For State's at- 
torney, W. G. Ryan; for president county court, Wm. T. Meador; 
for sherifif, Evan Hinton ; for clerk of circuit court, A. H. Meador; 


for clerk of the county court, J. B. Pack; for surveyor, M. Smith; 
for assessor, Wellington Cox.. 

"Be it ordained that the following township officers are declared 
elected: Forest Hill Township: for justice of the peace, A. L. 
Harvey; for constable, J. C. Allen. Jumping Branch Township: 
for justice of the peace, A. Parker (which was intended for J. A. 
Parker) ; for constable, J. S. Lilly. Pipestem Township : for justice 
of the peace, Robert Gore; for constable, C. M. D. Spraddling, 
Greenbrier Township; for justice of the peace, C. R. Hines and 
Henry Milburn ; for constable. Alma Willey and J. P. Rollyson. 
For judge of the circuit court R. F. Dennis received 388 votes, and 
Homer A. Holt 241 votes, and J. W. Davis 78 votes, making a total 
of 607 votes cast in the county." 

This election was a general election for State and county offices, 
to be elected under the new Constitution in the event of its rati- 
fication. It was ratified in the State, and the officers elected at 
that election and those which were not vacated by the new Con- 
stitution took office on the first day of January, 1873, and under 
which the Board of Supervisors retired, and the county courts, as 
hereinafter shown, were composed of the respective justices of 
the peace, as elected at this election. 

At the Presidential election held on the 5th day of November, 
1872. Horace Greely, Independent Republican, received 290 votes, 
and U. S. Grant. 206 votes. The candidate for Vice-President at 
this election on the Independent Republican ticket was B. Gratz 
Brown. The Presidential electors on the Greeley ticket are familiar 
to many of the present citizens of Summers County, being Joseph 
Spriggs, Okey Johnson, Wm. P. Hubbard, Daniel B. Lucas and 
Edmund Sehon. The electors on the Grant ticket were W. E. 
Stevens, Thomas B. Swan, Charles F. Scott, Thomas R. Carkscadon 
and Romeo H. Frier. 

Henry Wilson was the Republican voted for for Vice-President. 
Charles O'Connor, Democrat, for President, received eighteen 
votes ; John Quincy Adams, for Vice-President, seventeen votes. 
The electors on this ticket were Thomas O'Brien, Alex White, 
A. E. Duncan, William T. Ice and John S. Swan. Horace Greeley 
was the Independent Republican candidate, and was generally sup- 
ported by the Democrats. General U. S. Grant was the Republican 
candidate, and a number of Democrats voted for General Grant. 

Not being satisfied with the action of the Democratic Conven- 
tion in ratifying the nominee, Horace Greeley, Charles O'Connor 
was nominated by a faction of the Democratic Party as the straight- 


out Democratic nominee by a convention held in Baltimore. Greeley 
was the great editor of the New York Tribune, and had shown a 
liberal disposition towards Confederate leaders after the close of 
hostilities, having, with August Belmont, gone on the bail bond of 
Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy. General U. S. 
Grant was the great Federal general to whom General Lee sur- 
rendered at Appomattox, and was generally beloved in this country 
by reason of his magnanimous action towards General Lee and 
his Confederate soldiers after the collapse of the Rebellion. 

Charles O'Connor was an eminent Democratic lawyer in the 
city of New York. Frank Hereford, who was elected to Congress, 
was a prominent attorney in Union, Monroe County, who after- 
wards served a term in the Senate of the United States at the same 
time that the Honorable Henry G. Davis, of this State, late Demo- 
cratic candidate for Vice-President, was in the Senate. Captain 
R. F. Dennis was the regular nominee for judge of the circuit 
court, and was defeated by Homer A. Holt, an independent candi- 
date. J. W. Davis was the Republican nominee. Captain Dennis 
was an officer in the Confederate Army and a distinguished lawyer 
at Lewisburg ; afterwards served several years in the State Senate, 
and was a candidate for Congress, and defeated by C. P. Snyder 
for the nomination. Homer A. Holt, who was elected judge, was a 
Democrat, and was elected for a second term, and served as judge 
of the circuit court of this county and circuit for sixteen full years, 
and was afterwards elected to the Supreme Court of Appeals of the 
State, and served a term. 

J. W. Davis was a militia colonel at the beginning of the war 
and was a lawyer of great prominence in Greenbrier County, and 
only died recently at a very advanced age. After the war he was 
a Republican in politics, and so continued, but in 1896 was an 
ardent free silver advocate, and earnestly supported William J. 
Bryan, the Democratic candidate, for President, and at one time 
was the nominee of the Populist Party for Congress, and was the 
Republican nominee at one time for judge of the Supreme court 
of Appeals on the Republican ticket, and the Republican nominee 
for Congress at one or two elections in the Third District, of which 
this county was a part when the district was largely Democratic. 

I omitted to give in the foregoing statement of election the 
election returns for the county, which were as follows : 

For county superintendent of schools for the election held on 
the 26th day of October, 1871, John H. Pack received 493 votes, 
and he seems to have had no opposition for said office. For the 


office of representative in the House of Delegates for the delegate 
district of Monroe, Summers and Greenbrier, for the election held 
on the 26th day of October, 1871, George Williams received 514 
votes; Gordon L. Jordan, 504 votes; A. Nelson Campbell, 511 votes; 
Robert Lilly, 84 votes ; S. W. Nickell, 58 votes, and H. P. Brown, 
63 votes. Hon Gordon L. Jordan was elected in the county, and 
was the first representative in the Legislature from Summers 
County. He resided in Pipestem District, and was the father of 
John H. Jordan, the present cashier of the Bank of Summers. C. A. 
Sperry for State Senate, at that election, received 475 votes ; S. C. 
Luddington, 123 votes. 

The elections seem to have been held frequently in that period 
of our history, the first being held on October 26, 1871 ; the second, 
August 22, 1872 ; the third on November 5, 1872. Those were stir- 
ring times in this region. The war having closed in April, 1865, 
reconstruction was still in progress, and under the first Constitution 
and legislation in the State a large part of the people were dis- 
franchised by reason of their either having been in the active 
service of the Confederacy, or having been sympathizers therewith. 
All those persons, which consisted of the majority and the most 
substantial class of citizens in the territory of this county, were in- 
cluded under this ban, and not permitted to vote. A strict registra- 
tion law was then in force, and every voter had to register before a 
board of registration, composed of three registrars, who were ap- 
pointed as strict partisans of the party then in power, and no person 
was permitted to register or vote unless he could subscribe to a 
certain test oath, which was in effect, "that the voter had not aided 
or abetted in the late Rebellion, or had sympathized therewith." 
This, of course, excluded all ex-Confederates and voters who sym- 
pathized with the Southern cause in any way. Every voter was 
required to register at his precinct, and if a liberal registrar saw 
proper to permit persons to register who had been in sympathy 
with the Confederate cause, when the returns were sent in to the 
county seat to the board of registrars, they deliberately threw out 
all necessary votes to make the results of the election satisfactory 
to themselves. 

For instance, in Greenbrier County, directly after the war, about 
113 voters were permitted to vote out of a vote of probably 1,500 
or 2,000. This statement is given from information, and I give it 
to show the feeling existing in those days soon after the war and 
during the stirring political times in that era. 

When the adoption of the new Constitution for ratification or 


rejection, and the first Democratic State officers were elected since 
the formation of the State, the elective franchise had been extended 
largely by reason of the Flick amendment to the Constitution, 
which amendment took its name from its author. Honorable Wm. 
H. H. Flick, a broad-minded Republican of considerable influence 
in the Legislature, and the vote at the elections taken in 1872 were 
after the adoption of this amendment, which entitled many more 
voters to participate in the elections than had heretofore been 
permitted, the restrictions in franchise and the abominations 
perpetrated upon the people of this section from the close of the 
war until the adoption of the new Constitution were not chargeable 
to the broad-minded and liberal statesmen and members of the 
Republican Party, but to those narrow-minded partisans, illiterate 
and bigoted, as well as carpet-baggers who came into the country 
as jackals follow their prey — who had not been accustomed to 
power or authority, and who did not have either the sense, honor 
or broadness of character to exercise the power which was thrust 
upon them, by reason of the conflicts, agitations and unsettled con- 
ditions resulting and growmg out of the Civil War, and the people 
in authority undertook to exercise that authority in many instances 
in the suppression of justice, but as time went on more liberal, 
broad-minded and patriotic persons came into control, and matters 
soon righted themselves. 

The feeling between the parties from 1865 to 1875 was exceed- 
ingly bitter, and the Republican Party in those days was obnoxious 
to a large class of the citizens, so-called Republican "Radicals." 

I give an instance as the result upon registration and election 
at Green Sulphur precinct, some time after the war, when I was a 
boy, and I remember distinctly upon hearing of the occurrences : 

John Gwinn was one of the respected citizens of, that district, 
a brother of E. J. Gwinn, the owner of Green Sulphur Springs, who 
had been a strong Democrat before the war, but was a Union man 
and a Republican after the war, and a man of broad information 
and liberal towards his section. Mr. Gwinn was registrar for that 
precinct, which was then in Blue Sulphur District, Greenbrier 
County. When registration day came, he permitted every person 
to register — Democrat, Republican, Confederate, Union and Yankee, 
all voters He sent his returns into the court house, where there was 
a board of registration, or supervisors of election, or something of 
that kind, consisting of Joe Caldwell, who was nicknamed "Old 
Scratch," and two others whose names I have forgotten. They 
threw out the registration of Mr. Gwinn, although Mr. Gwinn was 


one of their own party, and none, or but few, of the votes of that 
precinct were counted. 

The first division of the county roads of the county were laid 
off into precincts by a committee appointed by the Board of Super- 
visors on the third Monday in January, 1872. 

The committee of Pipestem Township consisted of James Rolls, 
N. H. Neely and Robert Gore; for Jumping Branch Township, 
David Lilly, Sylvester Upton and Michael Harvey; for Forest Hill 
Township, Lewis Shanklin, Lewis Simms and Joseph Ellis; for 
Green Sulphur Township, John B. Walker, Harrison Gwinn and 
David Bowles; for Greenbrier Township, Isaac G. Garden, James 
P. Rollyson and James W. Meadows, who made the report and 
division of the county roads into precincts at the March Term. 

On the 21st day of October, 1872, the board entered the following 
order : 

"Ordered : That the clerk of this court be and is hereby required 
to communicate with Judge McWhorter, requesting him to hold a* 
special term of court fpr Summers County for the trial of the 
criminals of the said county, now in the jail of Monroe County." 

Carlos A. Sperry was the first prosecuting attorney of Sum- 
mers Cou-ity by appointment of Judge McWhorter. W. G. Ryan 
was the first elected prosecuting attorney of this county, elected 
in 1872, and took office January 1, 1873, under the new Constitution. 
J. Speed Thompson, Esq., one of the first lawyers who located in the 
county, qualified as the assistant of Mr. Ryan. On the 21st day 
of October, 1872, the following order was entered: 

"Ordered : That William H. Lilly, son of 'Barwallow Bob Lilly,' 
be appointed a road surveyor." 

Thejslection records up to this date were very imperfectly kept, 
though, no doubt, entirely correct. The vote for the county officers 
is not given except in a few instances, the Board of Supervisors 
simply declaring the result, showing who were elected. 

xA.bout this time the roads up New River from the mouth of 
Greenbrier were beginning to be agitated, and the following order 
was entered : 

"Be it ordained by the board that Rufus Pack, E. B. Meador 
and John G. Manser be and are hereby appointed viewers for the 
purpose of locating a road from the Baptist Church to the mouth 
of James W. Pack's lane, and that they report to this board the 
advantages and disadvantages, etc., attending the location of same." 

At the formation of this county there was but one piano or 
musical instrument of that character in the territory of Summers 


County, and that was owned by William B. Crump, then the owner 
of Crump's Bottom, and resided at the place where Air. George W. 
Harmon now resides, and who is the present owner of that mag- 
nificent plantation. 

The last order entered by the Board of Supervisors before it 
went out of existence was one directing a census of Green Sulphur 
District, to ascertain the population and for the purpose of inform- 
ing the authorities as to whether or not that district was entitled 
to two justices of the peace. Wm. P. Hinton was appointed to take 
the census and report to the new county court, which came in ofifice 
January 1, 1873. This order was made on the 22d day of August, 
1872, and on that date the following and final order by the board 
was made, which is as follows : 

"Ordered: That this board adjourn sine die. (Signed), James 
A, Hutchinson, president; J. B. Pack, Deputy clerk, for M. Gwinn, 

From this date on the affairs of the county were conducted by 
the county court, composed of the justices of the peace elected in 
1872, until an amendment to the Constitution about 1881, which 
abolished these county courts. 

After the fire which destroyed the court room occupied in Hin- 
ton, a small paper-backed book of 232 pages was used as the order 
jDOok of the circuit court, which would cost about fifty cents, such 
as a shoemaker would keep his accounts in. 

The first circuit court after the fire was on September 8, 1874, 
Judge Homer A. Holt being the new judge, elected in 1872, to 
succeed Judge McWhorter. Judge Holt was the father of Honor- 
able John H. Holt, who is a warm personal friend of the writer, 
now practicing law at Huntington, West Virginia, and is one of 
the most celebrated lawyers of the State. He and the writer ran 
together on the Democratic ticket in 1900, Mr. Holt being the 
nominee for governor, and the writer was chairman of the Demo- 
cratic Sta4:e Executive Committee and nominee for auditor. 

At the time of the above-named term of the court, ex-Governor 
Samuel Price, of Lewisburg, and Hon. John AV. Harris and F. P. 
Snyder of Pocahontas, a brother of Judge Adam Snyder, were 
admitted to practice in this circuit, and the following order was 

"Samuel Price, John W. Harris and C. P. Snyder, gentlemen 
who are regularly licensed attorneys to practice law in the courts 
of this State, on their several motions, have leave to practice in 
this court, whereupon they took the oath prescribed by law." 


James A. Hutchinson and twelve other gentlemen composed 
the grand jury, one of whom was honorable Gordan L. Gordan ; 
another was Capt. A. A. Miller, A. P. Pence and James Cales. Only 
two days' proceedings being recorded in this book, covering about 
six pages, the orders being signed by Judge Holt. 

Charles H. Graham was appointed and qualified as notary pub- 
lic, and executed bond before the county court on the 10th day of 
September, 1878, with John Gtaham as security. E. H. Peck was 
elected clerk of the county court on the 30th day of August, 1873, 
and on the 8th day of September of that year, executed bond before 
the judge of the circuit court, with Elbert Fowler, T. R. Wiseman, 
C. R. Hines and Joseph Ellis as his sureties. Mr. Peck was ap- 
pointed commissioner in chancery of the circuit court on the 12th 
day of April, 1875, and gave bond, with M. Smith, G. W. Chattin 
and Elbert Fowler as his security. 

The circuit court then had authority to appoint administrators 
and qualify personal representatives. M. Smith was appointed 
commissioner of school lands on the 10th day of September. 1878, 
and held that ofBce until his death, about twenty-five years. John 
K. Withrow was appointed constable on the 15th day of September, 
1879, with S. F. Taylor as his surety. M. Gwinn gave bond as clerk 
of the Board of Supervisors on the 28th day of March, 1871. Wil- 
liam Hughes was appointed justice of Pipestem Township on the 
29th day of April, 1871. 

Revenue stamps were required on all legal documents at the 
time of the formation of the county, and were continued for a 
number of years, in order to pay ofif or reduce the debt of the gen- 
eral government contracted in prosecution of the Rebellion. 

John H. Pack was appointed by Judge McAAHiorter as the first 
superintendent of schools for the county, and gave bond on May 3. 
1871, in the sum of $500.00. with C. E. Stevenson. Allen H. Meador 
and William T. ]\'Ieador as his sureties. Allen H. Meador gave 
bond as assessor on the 3rd day of ^May, 1871, with David Lilly 
and Wm. H. Meador as his surety ; penalty, $3,000. Jacob C. 
Allen was the first constable in Forest Hill District, and gave bond 
May 4, 1871, with Samuel Allen as his surety; penalty, $1,000. 
John Graham, the first commissioner of school lands for the county, 
qualified and gave bond on the 26th day of September, 1871 ; $2,000 
penalty, with David Graham and Joseph Grimmett as sureties. 
John F. Deeds gave bond as justice of the peace November 29, 1871, 
to hold until January 1, 1876: Levi M. Neely, W. T. Meador and 
A. J. Martin, sureties; penalty, $3,000. M. Gwinn gave bond as 


justice of the peace of Green Sulphur District; penalty, $3,000, 
with H. Gwinn as surety, on January 1, 1872. Mathias Cook gave 
bond as constable in Jumping Branch District, with W. T. Meador 
and G. W. Crook, as sureties; Charles N. Miller gave bond on the 
27th day of December, 1871, as constable of Greenbrier District, 
with John Buckland as surety; S. W. Willey gave bond as con- 
stable of Greenbrier District on December , 1871, in the pen- 
alty of $3,000; Samuel K. Boude gave bond in December, 1871, as 
justice of the Forest Hill District, with I. G. Garden and James A. 
Hutchinson, sureties; penalty, $2,000; Henry Milburn gave bond 
as justice of the peace of Greenbrier Township, with S. W. Willey, 
surety, on December , 1871; penalty, $4,000; Reuben Hop- 
kins gave bond as constable of Pipestem District, December 30, 
1871 ; penalty, $2,000, with James Cook and Milburn Farley, 

Evan Hinton, sheriff, was required to give an additional bond 
on the 10th day of December, 1872, in the penalty of $8,000, with 
.Silas Hinton, John Hinton and Avis Hinton as sureties, which was 
approved by J. M. McWhorter, judge. James Farley gave bond as 
justice of the peace of Pipestem District July 1, 1871, with T. R. 
Thrasher and James Roles as sureties. Allen H. Meador executed 
bond as clerk of the circuit court on the 25th day of September, 
1872, with Wm. T. Meador and John A. Lilly as sureties. M. Smith 
as surveyor gave bond on the 25th day of September, 1872, with 
A. L. Harvey as surety, in the penalty of $1,000. Alma Willey gave 
bond as constable, with S. W. Willey, surety, on the 22d day of 
October, 1871, as constable of Greenbrier Township. 

Evan Hinton was elected first sheriff of the county on the 22d 
day of August, 1872. J. H. Harvey was appointed deputy assessor 
for Wellington Cox on the 8th day of April, 1873, and gave bond, 
with Wellington Cox and R. C. Lilly as his sureties, in the penalty 
of $1,500.00. Wellington Cox was the first elected assessor, and 
executed bond, with John Lilly and W. T. Meador as sureties ; 
John Lilly, constable of Jumping Branch District, gave bond, with 
Andrew J. Lilly, surety, on the 19th day of October, 1872; Robert 
Gore qualified as justice of the peace of Pipestem District, De- 
cember 20, 1872. with E. B. Meador as surety, in the penalty of 
$2,000 ; John H. Pack executed bond as elected school superinteli- 
dent, December, 1872, with Rufus Pack, surety, in the penalty of 
$500.00 ; M. Gwinn gave bond as clerk of the Board of Supervisors, 
with A. A. Miller as surety, on the second day of January, 1872 ; 
T. R. Maddy was elected constable of Greenbrier District, and gave 


bond on the 31st day of December, 1876; C. L. Ellison was the 
second elected superintendent of free schools, and gave bond, with 
I. G. Garden, surety, taking office on the first day of January, 1874. 
Superintendent of schools, under the law in those days, held office 
for two years. 

M. A. Manning qualified as a notary public at the September 
Term, 1873, with S. W. Willey as surety ; Joseph F. Wood executed 
bond as constable of Pipestem District on the 30th day of August, 
1873 ; S. W. Willey was elected constable on the 30th day of Au- 
gust, 1873 ; G. L. Thompson qualified as a notary public on the 4th 
day of December, 1873, by giving bond, with W. G. Ryan, surety; 
W. G. Ryan qualified as a notary public on the 24th day of Oc- 
tober, 1873, with C. L, Thompson, surety. 

The first appropriation for the building of the bridge across 
Indian Greek, at its mouth, was made at the March Term, 1873, 
and placed in the hands of James Keatley and Joseph J. Ghristian, 
afterwards president of the county court. 

At the March Term, 1873, an order was entered, directing the 
prosecuting attorney to condemn an acre and a half of the land of 
Evi Ballangee for a court house and other public buildings at the 
mouth of Greenbrier River, it having been decided to construct the 
court buildings on the Ballangee place just below the ford and 
ferry at the mouth of the river, but this order of the court was 
never carried into effect. 

In 1874 the round-house in Hinton was under construction. It 
was 900 feet in circumference. A large portion of the foundation 
was made by excavation in the cliffs. The work was done by 
Alexander Atkinson, a native of Ireland, and who, with his brother, 
Frank Atkinson, of White Sulphur Springs, built the "Stretchers' 
Neck" Tunnel on the Ghesapeake & Ohio Railroad. 



Colonel Abraham Wood was the first to cross the Blue Ridge 
and to discover New River, and to call it Wood's River, in 1654. 
In 1666 Captain Henry Batte was the next to cross the Blue 
Ridge. 1716 — Governor Spottswood crossed the Blue Ridge, and 
claimed the honor of being the first, and for which he was knighted. 
He crossed at the Swift Run Gap. 1726 — Morgan Morgan, a 
Welshman, was the first man to build a house west of the Blue 
Ridge and south of the Potomac. 1727 — Cornstalk was born in 
the New River Valley, within the limits of Greenbrier County, 
and it is possible that it was within the territory of Summers 
County. 1737 — John Sailing, captured on the James River, crossed 
New River en route for the Cherokee towns. He was probably 
the first white man to cross New River. 1734 — Orange County 
was formed, which embraced all of the territory west of the Blue 
Ridge. 1735 — Christian, Beverly, Patton, Preston and Borden 
settlements in the New River Valley of Virginia. 1736 — ^John 
Sailing, mentioned heretofore, who was six years in captivity, 
made a setlement on the James River below the Natural Bridge, 
which was the first settlement on the James River west of that 
moimtain. 1738 — Augusta County formed; organized in 1745. 
Staunton was laid out in this vear, and Winchester had two 
houses therein. 174-1 — Rapin De Thoyer's map issued, giving wild 
guesses at the geography of the great West. 1748 — Dr. Thomas 
Walker crossed New River in the direction of Kentucky. In the 
same year the Draper-lMeadows settlement was made by Ingles 
and Draper. 1749 — the Loyal Land Company organized by 
Walker, Patton and others, based on a grant of 800,000 acres of 
land lying north of the North Carolina line and w^est of the moun- 
tains. In April occurred the first Indian depredations west of the 
Alleghenies, upon Adam Harman, at the Draper-Meadows settle- 
ment. It was in this year that a lunatic from AVinchester wan- 
dered across the mountains westward ; found the waters flowing 


in an opposite direction, and reported same on his return. He also 
reported the fine hunting and fine lands in the Greenbrier Valley, 
from which report adventurers began to make their way into this 
region. In the same year De Celeron, the French engineer, planted 
the leaden plate at the mouth of the Kanawha, claiming all of the 
territory drained by that river for the French crown. 

1750 — Jacob Marlin and Steven Sewell, influenced by the ac- 
counts of the lunatic, came out and settled at Marlin's Bottom, at 
the mouth of Knapp's Creek, in Pocahontas County. One of them 
was a Catholic and the other was a Protestant, and they quarreled 
over their religion and separated, one locating in a hollow tree in 
speaking distance of the other. They would get up in the morn- 
ing and salute each other, and that was all the communication they 
would have during the day. It was Colonel John Lewis, who came 
to survey the Greenbrier grants, and there discovered them, and it 
was this same year Dr. Thos. Walker crossed New River, Holstine 
and Clinch by way of Culbertson's (Crump's) Bottom, returning 
along Flat Top Mountain by the present site of Pocahontas (town), 
down Bluestone to New River ; down New River to the mouth of 
Greenbrier ; up Greenbrier and Anthony's Creek, and over the 
mountain by the Hot and Warm Springs. 1751 — Thos. Ingles was 
born at Draper-Meadows, being the first white child born 
west of the Allegheny Mountains. 1751 — Greenbrier River re- 
ceived its name by Colonel John Lewis. 1752 — Peter Fontain, a 
surveyor, made a map, which is a very crude affair, a copy of which 
will be found with Hale's Trans-Allegheny Pioneers. 1753 — 
George Washington, accompanied by Christopher Gist, was the 
bearer of communications to the commander of the French, and 
he says that Frazier's Cabin, on Peak Creek, in Burke's Garden, 
was then the ultima thule of Western settlement. 1754 — George 
Washington surprises a party of French near the Great Meadows, 
killing Captain Joumonville, the French commander. He captured 
or killed every man of the French. It was the first blood shed in 
the French and Indian war, and resulted in the loss of Can- 
ada to the French. In the same year Washington was compelled 
to capitulate to the French at Fort Necessity. In the same year 
Pack's Ferry was located and settlement begun. James Burke set- 
tles in Burke's Garden, and is murdered by the Indians. In the 
same year Joseph Reed settles at Dublin ; a McCorkle family set- 
tles at Dunkard's Bottom, near Ingle's Ferry. 1755 — Simon 
Girty and his brothers. George and James, were captured at Gir- 
ty's Run, not far from Pittsburg. In this year the Draper-Mead- 


ows settlement was attacked, and all of the settlers massacred. 
1755 — Braddock's defeat at Fort Duquesne. Mary Ingles and Betty 
Draper were the first white women in the Kanawha Valley, and 
they helped to make the first salt ever made by white persons in 
the Kanawha, or elsewhere west of the Alleghenies. 1756 — Settle- 
ments again made west of New River. Vass' Fort built under the 
direction of Captain Hogg, by the advice of George Washington, 
in the Middle New River country. Vass' Fort captured by a party 
of Indians and French, and all the inmates murdered or taken 
prisoners. Big Sandy expedition under Major Andrew Lewis was 
made the same year. 1757 — New River lead mines were discov- 
ered by Colonel Chiswell, and operations begun to develop the 
same. Daniel Boone was married in this year on the Yadkin, in 
North Carolina. 1758 — Fort Duquesne captured by General For- 
bes and named Fort Pitt. Fort Chiswell, in Wythe County, was 
built under the direction of Colonel William Byrd. 1759 — The 
Decker settlement on the Monongalia destroyed, and every one 
killed except one. 1760 — An Indian raiding party surprised Wil- 
liam Ingles near Ingles' Ferry, and seven Indians killed and one 
white man. Selim, the Algerine of remarkable history, passed up 
the Kanawha Valley in seach of white settlements. He was a 
wealthy and educated Arab ; was captured in the Mediterranean 
Sea by Spanish pirates ; was sold to a Louisville planter, escaped, 
made his way to the Mississippi and up the Ohio. Somewhere be- 
low the Kanawha he met with some white persons, and a woman 
among them told him, as best she could in sign language, to go 
toward the rising sun and he would find white settlements. It 
was just about this time that the Indian raid had been made 
through this valley, after the Jackson's River settlements, when 
the Renic family and Hannah Dennis were made prisoners, and 
it was probably these that he met who told him of the Eastern 
settlements. He turned up the Kanawha Valley, up New River to 
the mouth of the- Greenbrier, and was finally discovered almost 
naked and nearly starved, when he had passed up the Greenbrier, 
through Monroe to near the Warm Springs, in the Allegheny 
Mountains. He was taken care of. Through a Greek testament 
which he had on his person, some ministers who saw him discov- 
ered that he was a good Greek scholar, and communication was 
thus opened up between him and the ministers, who were profi- 
cient in Greek. Selim studied English, became a Christian, and 
returned to his home in Algiers, where he was repudiated by his 
parents because he had giA^en up the Moslem for the Christian re- 

Hinton, 1905. 


ligion. He returned to America heart-broken, and finally died 
in an insane hospital. He passed over in these wanderings almost 
forty miles of the territory of Summers County, by where Hin- 
ton and Talcott are now located. This was before there was a 
white settlement within the county or in all this region, even 
in the Kanawha Valley. 1761 — The Cherokee War was terminated. 
1762 — Archibald Clendennin and others settled on Muddy Creek 
and Big Levels, now Greenbrier Count}-, about eight or ten miles 
from the Summers line. Ingle's Ferry established by law this 
year, the first Ferry established west of the Allegheny Mountains. 
1763 — Hannah Dennis escaped from the Indian captivity, making 
her way through this valley, and after great suffering reached the 
Muddy Creek setlement. In the same year Cornstalk made his 
raid with the Indians, passed up the Greenbrier Valley, and ex- 
terminated the Muddy Creek and Big Levels settlements. 1763 — 
The final treaty of peace between the French and English at Paris 
(Treaty of Paris). 176-4 — Captain Paul's Indian fight at the mouth 
of Indian Creek. In the same year Alatthew Arbuckle, the ances- 
tor of that honorable family in Greenbrier County, of which Sena- 
tor John W. Arbuckle is the most prominent descendant at this day, 
a hunter and trapper from the Greenbrier region, passed down the 
Kanawha Valley with furs for a trading post at Point Pleasant and 
returned, being the first man to perform so formidable a feat. Three 
hundred prisoners were recovered this year by Colonel Boquet. in 
Ohio, he being the French commander. 1765 — Sir W'illiam John- 
son's treaty of peace with the Indians, the result of Boquet's cam- 
paign. Michael Cresap owned 300 acres of land and settled the 
same in 1763, on Redstone. 1766 — Butler and Carr hunted and 
trapped about the heads of Bluestone and Clinch Rivers. 1767 — 
Butler, Carr and others settled families at the head of Bluestone 
River. 1768 — George Washington, R. H. Lee, F. L. Lee and Ar- 
thur Lee petitioned King George for two and one-half million 
acres of Western lands in the Mississippi country. 1769 — Eben- 
ezer, Silas and Jonathan Zane located lands at Wheeling Creek, in 
Ohio County. In that year a man by the name of Tygart was the 
solitary owner of a cabin on the Ohio River below W^heeling, pos- 
sibly the same man who settled Tygart's Valley in 1754. John 
Stewart, Robert McClanahan, Thomas Renic and William Hamil- 
ton settled in the Greenbrier country where Frankfort is now situ- 
ated. In this year George Washington surveyed for John Frye 
2,084 acres of land at the forks of Big Sandy, at the present site 
of Louisa. AVashington was at the mouth of the Great Kanawha 


the same year, looking over his own lands, and his agent, Colonel 
Crawford, was with him. Camp Union, now Lewisburg, was built 
1770. 1771 — Simon, Keaton, Yager and Strater were the first white 
men to camp in the Kanawha Valley. They settled about the 
mouth of Two-]\Iile Creek, on Elk River. Colonel Andrew Don- 
ally built Donally's Fort; Colonel John Stewart built Fort Spring, 
and Captain Jarrett built Jarrett's Fort, at the mouth of Wolf 
Creek. 1772^ — Clarksburg was built. The mineral virtue of the 
Greenbrier White Sulphur Springs was first tested by the whites. 
It had long been a famous elk and deer lick among the 
Indians. A German named Stroud settled on the glades. His 
family was murdered by the Indians, for which Captain Bull 
and five families of Indians living at Bulltown were murdered by 
William White and William Hacker in retaliation for the massa- 
cre of the Stroud family. In 1773 the highest water, according to 
tradition, that was ever known in the New River Valley or the 
Kanawha. This tradition comes through Ballenger, the recluse. 
In this year Walter Kelley, a refugee from South Carolina, settled 
at Kelley 's Creek, nineteen miles above Charleston. In 1772 the 
McAfee brothers, McCown, Adams and others, including Colonel 
Bullit and Hancock Taylor, from the New River settlements, went 
to Kentucky to locate and survey lands. They located and sur- 
veyed Big Bone Lick, July 5th. They located the city of Frank- 
fort on July 15th, and Louisville on August 5th. John and Peter 
Van Bibber, Rev. Joseph Alderson and Matthew Arbuckle, passed 
from Jarrett's Fort down Greenbrier, New River and Kanawha, 
and they discovered the Burning Spring on the Kanawha in this 
year. The Van Bibbers had an exciting time with the Indians at 
Kanawha Falls, where the Van Bibber Cut of the C. & O. is lo- 
cated. The Indians pursued them, and they jumped from the top 
of that embankment and escaped by swimming across. 1774 — • 
William Morris settled at the mouth of Kelley's Creek, Leonard 
Morris at the mouth of Slaughter's Creek, and John F. Flynn at 
Cabin Creek. In this year John Lybrook. on Sinking Creek, in 
Giles County, was attacked by the Indians and five of his children 
were killed. He secreted himself by hiding in a cave. Wheeling 
was first called Fort Fincastle, afterwards Fort Henry. It was 
planned by George Rogers Clark. On the 11th of September 
Lewis' army of 1,100 soldiers left Lewisburg for Point Pleasant to 
fight that famous battle. Daniel Boone was commander at the 
time of Camp Union (Lewisburg), Donally's Fort and Jarrett's 
Fort. Lewis' army was nineteen days in passing from Lewisburg 


to Point Pleasant, and that battle was fought on the 10th of Octo- 
ber. 1774-5 — The courts in Augusta County were held alternately 
at Staunton and Pittsburg, which was then situated in a part of 
Augusta County. In 1775 Daniel Boone cut Boone's Trail, or the 
Wilderness Road, from Long Island, in the Holstine country, into 
Kentucky. In 1775 General George Washington and General Lewis 
located and took up 250 acres of land, which included the famous 
Burning Springs in Kanawha County, east of Charleston. In this 
year Rev. Joseph Alderson cut out the first wagon road across the 
mountains as far west as Greenbrier River. In 1776 Augusta was 
divided into three counties — Ohio, Monongalia and Youghiogheny, 
which latter county was abolished, and the entire territory in- 
cluded in the two former. In this year General Andrew Lewis, 
who was in command of the Virginia soldiers, drove Lord Dun- 
more and his fleet and rabble from Gwinn's Island, on the Chesa- 
peake Bay, by reason of which Dunmore left the country forever. 
In 1777 the first forts were established in the Mississippi Valley. 
1777 — Cornstalk, and his son Elinipsico, and Red Hawk, were mur- 
dered at Point Pleasant. In this year the Augusta, Botetourt and 
Greenbrier volunteers under Colonel Skillem marched to Point )jti,^^/!cA^ 
Pleasant to join forces under General Hand, who did not arrive. 
1780 — In an Indian raid into Greenbrier, Donally's Fort was at- 
tacked, but was forewarned by Hammond and Pryor, and rein- 
forced by volunters from Lewisburg under Colonel Stewart. The 
Indians were driven off; and during an Indian raid this year John 
Pryor, the famous scout and brave messenger, was killed. William 
Griffith, his wife and daughter were murdered, and his son, a lad, 
taken prisoner, an account of which is given in this book; and it 
was the last Indian raid made or murder committed in the Green- 
brier country. This was on the old Ellis place, near the mouth 
of Griffith's Creek. The Indians were followed down the creek 
and on to the Kanawha, and the lad recaptured. A man by the 
name of Carr and two children were murdered near the mouth of 
Bluestone, and a woman at Culbertson's Bottom, all in this county; 
but no details can be secured. 

In 1782 Lewisburg was established as a town. 1784 — Mason 
and Dixon's Line established as the interstate line between Penn- 
sylvania and Virginia. 1786 — The first wagon road, called Koontz's 
New Road, was opened from Lewisburg to the Kanawha River. 
Its route was by Muddy Creek, Keeney's Knob, Rich Creek. Gau- 
ley River, Twenty-Mile, Bell Creek, Campbell's Creek, with side 
trails down Kelley's Creek and Hughes' Creek to Charleston. 1787 


— Maysville, one time called Limestone, was established as a town 
on the land of John May and Simon Kenton, and organized De- 
cember 11th. This year the State of Virginia ordered the construc- 
tion of a wagon road from Kanawha Falls to Lexington, Kentucky. 
In 1788 the first house was built in Charleston, by George Clen- 
dennin. This year James Rumsey, the real original inventor of the 
steamboat, exhibited his working model to General George Wash- 
ington and others in the waters of the Potomac River, near Berke- 
ley Springs. 1788 — Daniel Boone and Paddy Huddleston caught 
the first beavers in the Kanawha Valley. 1789 — Mad Ann Bailey 
made her solitary ride from Lewisburg to North Clendennin 
(Charleston). 1791 — Daniel Boone was elected as one of the mem- 
bers of the Virginia Legislature from Kanawha County. 1792 — 
Kentucky County was organized as a State and admitted to the 
Union, and was the first child of Virginia, the mother of States, 
and it was the first State admitted into the Union after the original 
thirteen. The Battle of Fallen Timbers was fought by General 
Anthony Wayne, August- 20, 1794. It gave peace and security to 
all of this region. In 1796 Volney, the distinguished French infi- 
del and author, was in this valley. In 1798 Peter Bowyer made 
the first settlement in the New River Gorge, and established a 
Ferry at Sewall, which is known to this day as Bowyer's Ferry. 
The first salt well bored in the Kanawha Valley was in 1808. In 
1810-12, Audubon, the great naturalist, was in the New and Kana- 
wha valleys. The first natural gas well ever bored in America was 
in 1815, in the Kanawha Valley. The last buffalo killed in that 
valley was in that year. Coal was first discovered and used in 
that valley in 1817. The last elk killed in this valley was in 1820. 
The first bridge ever built across New River was at Ingles' Ferry, 
in 1838. The first person to use natural gas as a fuel was William 
Tompkins, in 1841, in the New River Valley. He was the first 
person in America to utilize gas for manufacturing purposes. The 
first cannel coal discovered in America was in the Kanawha Val- 
ley, in 1846. The first railroad across New River was in 1855 — 
the Virginia & Tennessee, now the Norfolk & Western. The first 
coal works in all this valley were erected in 1855. In 1861 New 
River was higher than ever known, so far as we have any authentic 
history. The Chesapeake & Ohio was opened for traffic in 1873, 
and in this year the Quinnimont Company established the first 
iron furnace and coke works on New River. ^Villiam Wyant es- 
tablished the first coke works in the Kanawha Valley in 1883. 
The State capital of West Virginia was permanently established 


at Charleston, and the new capitol building occupied, in 1885. 
Crump's Bottom was settled by Culbertson in 1755, and was the 
first settlement in Summers County. 

In 1763 there were but two settlements in Greenbrier County. 
One was on Muddy Creek, the other in the Big Levels, and the 
two together only contained about twenty families, of one hundred 
souls. The Muddy Creek settlement was visited by about sixty 
Indians under Cornstalk, the distinguished chief, and probably the 
greatest of his race. They pretended to be friendly, and there be- 
ing no war between the Indians, French and the English, the set- 
tlers took it for granted that they were kindly disposed. Having 
thus deceived the settlers, they fell upon the whites and killed 
every man, and killed or made prisoners of every woman and child. 
They then hurried on to the Big Levels, which was about fifteen 
miles distant, and there resorted to the same treacherous and in- 
famous tactics. Archibald Clendennin had just returned from a 
hunt, bringing three elks, from which they had a great feast. Im- 
mediately after, at a signal given by the Indians, the whites were 
thus, within a few hours, in two entire prosperous settlements, ex- 
terminated. Conrad Yokum — the name now being Holcomb — out 
of the one hundred persons in both settlements, escaped death. 
He escaped by flight. Mrs. Clendennin also escaped from captiv- 
ity. A negro woman was endeavoring to escape from Clendennin, 
and was followed by her child, crying. To enable herself to make 
better progress, she stopped and instantly killed her own child. 
Mrs. Clendennin was a brave woman. She denounced the Indians, 
which so enraged them that they slapped her in the face with the 
fresh scalp from her husband's head. They then undertook to in- 
timidate her by raising a tomahawk over her head, but she refused 
to be silenced. These Indians passed over Keeney's Knob on their 
retreat, and it was while making this passage that she passed her 
child to another woman to hold, and she slipped into the brush and 
made her escape, returning to her home, where she remained all 
night, as detailed in another section ; and it was on Keeney's Knob, 
when the Indians discovered her absence, one of them took her 
child, and said he would bring the cow to its calf. Taking it by 
the heels, he beat its brains out against a tree. Mrs. Clendennin 
finally, after great dangers and privations, and after she had re- 

NOTE.— I am indebted to "Hale's Trans-Allegheny Pioneers" 
for many of the chronological items hereinbefore given, and I have 
liberally referred to that interesting book. 


turned to her old home, covered the body of her dead husband with 
brush, weeds and fence-rails to protect it from wild beasts, and 
made her flight, crossing the Allegheny Mountains, and reached 
the Jackson's River settlement in safely. 

Hinton, within nine months, from a single log hut, increased 
in population 300 souls. It was on January 15, 1874, that C. L. 
Thompson said in the "Mountain Herald": "If we would have a 
big city, we must have factories. It is an age of development. Let 
us not stand gazing idly about, but be up and doing. Manufactories 
will only go up under the fostering care and intelligence of our 
enterprising people." What was true then is still true. We now 
have a population of 6,000 souls. 

It was on the 16th of January, 1874, that Dr. Thrasher gave the 
Hon. Elbert Fowler the lie, and Fowler then struck him in the face 
with a large law book, during the trial of a case in court. Bystand- 
ers intervened and prevented a rough time. Affairs seemed to have 
quieted down, but at nine o'clock the same evening, at the Wickem 
House, Fowler was again attacked by Thrasher, who drew a pistol, 
when Fowler struck him, and the light ensued. Thrasher shot 
Fowler in the arm, the bullet lodging in the lining of his coat just 
over the left breast. They were then separated. Thrasher after- 
wards died, supposed from poison taken from his own hand, at his 
home near Red Sulphur Springs. 

It was on the 20th of January, 1874, that the famous fist fight 
occurred between John A. Richmond and Thomas Bragg at New 
Richmond. They fell out over some trespassing hogs. They were 
two of the most powerful men, physically, in Summers County. 
After fighting for some time, Richmond got Bragg down, and made 
him holler "Enough." Richmond was a merchant at the mouth 
of Lick Creek; Bragg was a farmer residing on the Hump Moun- 
tain, afterwards removing to the West. After the fight was over, 
as was the fashion in those days, they shook hands and made 
friends, and remained so ever afterwards. 

In 1874, a company, composed of General J. D. Bernard, General 
Q. A. Gilmore, Colonel William P. Craighill and Benjamine La- 
trobe, were appointed by the Secretary of War to report upon the 
practicability and commercial value of a continued water line from 
the Ohio River to the Chesapeake Bay, known as the James River 
and Kanawha Canal. They were to report in March. It was in 
contemplation to construct a tunnel eight miles long through the 
Allegheny Mountains, with locks 120 feet in length, 20 feet wide and 
7 feet deep. The terminus at that time of the James River Canal was 


Buchannon. The project was to continue from Buchannon west, 
passing through the Allegheny Mountains by an eight-mile tunnel ; 
thence westward by slack water and sluice dams navigation, by 
way of Greenbrier River and Kanawha River to the Ohio. This 
connection between the waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf 
of Mexico had beeii projected for a generation before, and this last 
action was the last ever taken, as the construction of the Chesa- 
peake & Ohio Railroad destroyed the James River Canal, and any 
possibility of navigation between those waters was destroyed for- 
ever. At one time it was proposed to run this canal from Alderson 
through Keeney's Knobs by tunnel by Lick Creek to New River, 
and the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad Company projected its route 
over the same course and made its survey, but abandoned it as 
impractical for the route now being occupied by that great railroad. 
This canal project connecting the James and Kanawha Rivers had 
been agitated for forty years. 

We had, back in 1874 poetical genius within our borders, as is 
in evidence from a stanza taken from a poem by a Pipestem poet, 
who is supposed to be Mr. Gorden C. Hughes, now of Arkansas, 
which is as follows : 

"Our constable, Mr. Wood, 
Is seemingly very good ; 
He attends to monthly rules 
With a handsome roll of schedules." 

John G. Crockett was appointed postmaster at Indian Mills and 
James Keatly removed February 26, 1874. 

The first large milling company in Hinton was begun on Feb- 
ruary 26, 1876, by E. A. Weeks. This mill was located on a point 
by the present light plant, and was destroyed by the flood of 1878. 

The first Sunday-school ever established in Hinton was through 
the efforts of Rev. W. M. Hiner, of the Methodist Episcopal Church 
South, in February, 1874. The committee secured to organize it 
was C. L. Thompson, W. W. Adams, J. H. Pack, E. A. Weeks 
and W. W. Baker. 

The voting precinct at Pisgah, on top of the Big Ben Tunnel, 
was removed to Talcott Station at the March Term of court, 1874. 
Mercer Salt Works was established as a voting precinct also at 
the March Term of court, 1874. 

Gas was discovered at the place of Robert Gore, on Island Creek, 
sixteen miles south of Hinton, in 1874. 

It was in 1874 that Austin Cummings, the famous horse-thief. 


secured his release from the penitentiary of this State. This release 
was secured by Cummings forging a very large petition of the 
citizens of Summers County to the Governor. It had also 
attached a recommendation of the prosecuting attorney, the trial 
judge and other officials. It was a forgery throughout, made by 
Cummings in the penitentiary, sent to the Governor, Hon. Henry 
Mason Mathews, who, acting thereon in good faith, issued his 
pardon and set Cummings at liberty before the deception was dis- 
covered. Cummings made his escape, and was never afterwards 
apprehended. He was serving a term in the penitentiary for horse 
stealing, a crime then very common in this country in those days, 
and was sentenced from this county. 

The railroad switch in Avis at the light plant was first built in 
1874. In April, 1874, butter at Hinton was quoted at thirty cents 
per pound. 

There were twenty-five indictments on the court docket for 
1874. It was at a term of this court that the famous certificate was 
filed on presentation of a petition of a gentleman desiring to be 
removed from road labor service, as follows : 

"Raleigh Court House, March 20, 1874. 

"This is to sertify that i examnd , and find a 

rupetur jist above the umblicus rending him holy un fit manuell 

"Giving under my hand the dait above riten. 

"(Signed), , M. D." 

In 1874 the colored folks of Hinton were entering theatrical 
enterprises. They gave their first performance at the Thespian 
Hall. The play selected was "Richard III." All seemed to go 
pretty well until the shooting business came around. The pistol 
furnished was, of course, only to have a cap on it. When the ex- 
plosion took place, Duke Buckingham going "incontinently" from 
the stage, said he "didn't cum thar fur no sich foolishness." The pis- 
tol happened to be loaded with a paper wad, which struck him 
pretty hard in the "bread basket," and the play was thus aban- 
doned ; and from that day to this the great plays of Shakespeare 
have been neglected by the colored population of this county. 

The court dockets of the 12th of May, 1874. showed twelve state 
cases, fifteen motions and appeals, four cases at issue, thirteen 
writs of enquiry, three office judgments ; and only two indictments 
were found at that time by the grand jury. 


The first action towards securing a school house for Hinton 
was on the 19th of May, 1874, at a meeting of the citizens, when 
C, L. Thompson, W. B. Tallioferrio and C. A. Fredeking were ap- 
pointed a committee to prepare plans. 

It was at the May term of the county court, 1874, that Avis 
Hinton tendered and the court accepted a lot for the court house 
of one acre of land on the island, where the Ewart residence was 
afterwards constructed by Dr. Gooch. M. Gwinn, A. L. Harvey 
and C. R. Hines voted for that location. Manser and Robt. Gore 
opposed the location. 

In 1874 the pin factory was established at New Richmond, which 
was operated for some time ; and an iron furnace was also pro- 
posed to be established at the same place. This furnace was after- 
wards built at Quinnimont. New Richmond in those days threat- 
ened to rival Hinton. . 

The burning springs, on Madam's Creek, two miles from Hin- 
ton. were attracting attention in 1874. These springs at one time 
were owned by the famous Evan Hinton. A large quantity of 
gas was escaping, which would ignite and burn when a match was 
lighted and placed in contact. At that time it was claimed that 
these springs produced a sufficient supply to provide for a large 
town. The water in the spring looked then like that of the Green- 
brier White Sulphur Springs, but there was no sulphur in it. 
From that day to this, this spring, as well as the one on Beech 
Run, have attracted attention ; but nothing practical has ever come 
of it. The ]\Iadani's Creek Spring is now the property of Dr. J. 
F. Bigony. A company was formed in 1906 to develop the oil and 
gas territory around Hinton, with Jas. H. Miller as president; 
but nothing has come of it, as the land-owners declined to lease 
their property. 

The New River Railroad and Manufacturing Companv was or- 
ganized at Pearisburg on June 4, 1874, by Elbert Fowler, J. D. 
Sergent, who was president ; Gen. C. C. Whorten, Henry Beckwith, 
John T. Corwin and Jed Hotchkiss. This railroad company was 
afterwards, by an Act of the Legislature, consolidated with the 
Norfolk & Western, and the rights of way secured b}^ it are still 
held by that company. It was projected to run from Hinton to 
the mouth of East River. After several years it was taken over 
by the N. & W. R. R. Co., which still owns its rights of way. 

The Presbyterian Church was organized in June, 1874, by Dr. 
J. C. Bar, of Charleston. Hiram Scott, E. A. Weeks and C. A. 
Fredeking were made the ruling elders. 


The "Mountain Herald" newspaper began the agitation for the 
High School in Hinton as early, as 1875, and the Stonewall High 
School was then established by Prof. John I. Harvey, a son-in- 
law of Major B. S. Thompson, a distinguished educator, prepared 
for school work in Germany and the United States. Major Thomp- 
son operated the boarding department. This school, however, was 
not successful, and was finally abandoned, Professor Harvey going 
to the University of West Virginia, where he remained for many 

The ferry at Lower Hinton was established in 1875, by Evan 
Hinton. He had quite a celebrated fight over its establishment, 
as there was a ferry at Upper Hinton, about a half-mile above. 
One side of this Lower Hinton ferry was in Raleigh County and 
the other in Summers. It continued in active operation until the 
fall of 1906, when the Hinton bridge across New River was built 
and practically destroyed the ferry, which is now owned by Martin 
Nee, of Raleigh County, and H. Ewart, of Summers. 

The personal propert}^ assessment in 1875 amounted to $203,- 
526: In Greenbrier District, $69,217; in Green Sulphur District, 
$36,693; in Pipestem District, $37,380; Jumping Branch District, 
'^Z2,7Z2 ; Forest Hill District, $27,532. There were in the county in 
that year assessed 134 horses, 240 wagons, 3,202 cattle, 3,816 sheep 
and 640 hogs. 

The original court house cost $10,500, according to contract, all 
of which was paid in 1875 before a lick was struck or a brick burned. 

S. W. Willy, who reassessed the lands for 1875, received for the 
services $250. 

Rev. Rufus Pack, in 1875, had a vineyard of two acres growing 
on his farm on New River, below the mouth of Bluestone, now 
owned by A. E, and C. L. Miller. 

In 1874 a petition was circulated asking the Chesapeake & Ohio 
Railroad Company to resume the running of mail trains to Hinton. 
It was claimed that it did not pay at that time, but that it would 
eventually pay by gradual increase, and thereby build up the trade 
of the road. 

The real estate assessment for 1875 was the first made after 
the formation of the county, and was as follows : Greenbrier Dis- 
trict, $233,277.36^4; Green Sulphur District, $97,905.33>^ ; Jump- 
ing Branch District, $77,260.35; Forest Hill District, $92,838.20; 
Pipestem District, $98,138.50; total, $599,409.75. The total assess- 
ment prior to this reassessment was $549,806, the increase made by 
Mr. Willy being $49,603.75. 


At the October election, 1874, Robert Gore was elected presiding 
justice, which created a vacancy in the office of justice of the 
peace, and the people voted for and elected Gordon L. Jordan to 
fill the vacancy. 

Election of 1876 for Governor: 

Mathews (Dem.) Golf (Rep.) 

Greenbrier District 299 240 

Pipestem District 150 39 

Forest Hill District 160 25 

Green Sulphur District 159 69 

Jumping Branch District 158 63 

Total 926 436 

W. W. Adams for State Senate received 768 votes; William 
Prince, 501 votes. Dr. B. P. Gooch (D.), for Legislature, 594 votes; 
Jonathan Lilly (R.), 576 votes; Lewis S. Shanklin (L), 133 votes. 
Elbert Fowler, for prosecuting attorney, 888 votes; W. G. Ryan, 
360 votes. For president of the county court, M. C. Barker, 904; 

Mann, 224; William Hutchison, 166. For sherifif, William 

S. Lilly ("Shoemaker Bill"), 618; S. W. Willy, 517; James H. 
Bledsoe, 163. For assessor, Charles Clark, 189; John Lilly (Item), 
219; John Edds, 25; William Houchins, 126; A. P. Pence, 70; 

James K. Scott, 46; A. A. Allen, 168; P. M. Grimmett, 163; • 

Farley, 83 ; Joseph Ellis, 90 ; Caleb Noel, 62. 

The Baptist Church in Hinton was completed November 2, 
1876. The cupola was covered with tin by O. P. Hoover, the father 
of Thomas Hoover. 

The powder mill at New Richmond was built in 1876. 

In 1875 the walnut timber from Lick Creek, in Green Sulphur 
District, was being shipped out by Sam Smith, who sent it direct to 
England. That country was very heavily timbered with this valu- 
able timber, but the owners of it received but very little benefit, 
Smith "beating" them out of the value by failing to pay. This 
timber was so plentiful in that region in those days that fencing 
was made largely of walnut trees. 

At the school election, in 1875, F. W. Mahood, A. P. Pence 
and M. A. Manning were elected as the Board of Education of 
Greenbrier District, which at that time included Talcott District. 

The round house in Hinton was built in 1875, by G. W. Gleason. 

In 1875 a railroad was surveyed up Madam's Creek, by Captain 


B. R. Dunn to Evan Hinton's coal bank. The average grade was 
2173^ feet to the field, making a grade Hne 4 12-100 feet per hundred 
feet, being 1 18-100 feet less per hundred feet than at Hawk's Nest 
short line. This reached coal in three and a half miles from Hin- 
ton, starting at the mouth of Madam's Creek, and is 1,400 feet, at 
that point, above sea level. Here they ran up the creek three- 
fourths of a mile, thence up White Oak Branch. This coal bank 
of Evan Hinton's was on a 1,500-acre tract of land, and has been 
talked about from that day to this. Evan Hinton worked hard to 
have it developed in his lifetime. The land now belongs to Joseph 
Hinton, Silas Hinton's heirs and William Hinton, Jr. 

Fireman Roadcap was killed at Big Ben Tunnel, by a freight 
train running into a mass of debris, which came down from the 
roof, burying Engineer \\^ilkinson and Fireman Roadcap. The lat- 
ter was sitting up in his box when found at daylight, stone dead, 
and Wilkinson was badly hurt. This was Alex. Wilkinson, who 
continued an engineer on the road until 1905. when he was acci- 
dentally killed in the yard at Hinton. He was the father of Pres- 
ton Wilkinson, the energetic young business man of Hinton, and 
one of the managers of the Hinton foundry, machine and plumbing 

The first census of Hinton was made in August, 1875, by Thomas 
Cooper, with the view to the incorporation of the town. It was 
then two years old, and the enumeration showed a population of 
six hundred. 

It was on September 1, 1875, that L. C. Thrasher was murdered 
by Woodson Harvey. Thrasher was shot and instantly killed by 
Harvey, who was tried afterwards and sentenced to the peniten- 
tiary for a few years. 

C. L. Ellison was elected superintendent of schools in 1875, by 
a majority of 418, over Dr. William H. Tally. 

The Board of Education for Forest Hill District, 1875, was: 
Elbert Fowler, president; J. N. Haynes and L. G. Lowe, commis- 
sioners. The two latter gentlemen still reside in the county. 

The enumeration of youths for 1875 showed : For Greenbrier 
District, 707; Green Sulphur District, 433; Forest Hill District, 
345; Pipestem District, 361; Jumping Branch District, 408; total, 
2,254, of which 176 were colored. 

The stock pens were constructed in 1875 at Pence's Springs 
Station, which was then known as Stock Yards, and for twenty 
odd years afterwards. In 1900 they were removed to Hinton. 


The circuit court dockets for Summers County in 1875 showed 
twelve misdemeanors and one felony. 

It was on September 23, 1875, that J. Wash. Jones, the mer- 
chant at Talcott, a brother of W. W. Jones, was killed, accidentally 
shooting himself. 

In 1875 Wm. Gayer, a railroad man, was accidentally killed in 
the yards at Hinton. His family still reside at, and are prominent 
in Hinton, consisting of Mrs. Jas. F. Smith, Mrs. Minnie Bruce, 
John Gayer, and Mrs. Nannie Shifflet. 

The county examiners of teachers in 1875 were W. W. Adams 
and J. M. Garden. 

It was in 1875 the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad was sold under 
foreclosure of mortgage in Richmond and Parkersburg simulta- 
neously, and taken over by the C. & O. Railway Co. 

On October 18, 1875, a large deer was killed in the river at Hin- 
ton by Joseph Hinton and William Wimmer. 

In 1875 the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad was paying its em- 
ployes in scrip. It was below par. 

C. L. Miller quit the county clerk's office as deputy for E. H. 
Peck, on November 5, 1875. 

The last wolves killed in Summers County was on the 8th of 
November, 1875, by Elias Wheeler, on Keeney's Knob. M. N, 
Brean saw two large wolves in the woods in that year, but they 
were never known to have been killed. 

Dr. John G. Manser was a Centennial Commissioner for the 
Exposition at Yorktown, in 1876. 

Rev. Cobbs was the Episcopal minister in 1876. 

Captain William McClandish was the first master machinist at 
the round house. 

Robert Gore died in April, 1876. He was then president of the 
county court ; and "the bravest of the brave" in the Civil War, on 
either side. His son, C. W. Gore, now lives at Athens, W. Va. 

Major Cyrus Newlyn died on the 20th of April, 1876, at the 
Wickham House. He was a New Yorker, then residing at Union, 
and came to Hinton to attend court, and died very suddenly. He 
was buried in the old cemetery, but there is no mark to indicate 
his last resting-place. He was a brilliant lawyer. He came from 
the North in Reconstruction days to practice his profession at a 
time when the lawyer in this region of the South could not prac- 
tice by reason of the test oaths. 

In 1876 a poplar tree was cut on New River which manufactured 


4,150 feet of lumber. This is a sample of the character of timber 
that grows in this region. This lumber was clear and sound. 

Henry Milburn was elected president of the county court in 
May, 1876, to take the place of Robert Gore, deceased. 

Wellington Cox, the first assessor of the county, died in 1876, 
and (Item) John Lilly was appointed in his place. 

M. C. Barker raised 700 bushels of wheat on his New River 
farm in 1876. 

In 1877 there located in the town of Hinton, for the practice 
of law, an Englishman by the name of A. Neville C. Leveson- 
Gower. He executed bonds as notary public, with E. H. Peck, W. 
W. Adams, N. M. Lowry, B. L. Hogue and W. R. Thompson as 
security. He cut a great figure, having come with a flourish of 
trumpets, claiming to be a counsellor from the courts of London, 
but proved to be a complete fake. He afterwards vanished from 
off the face of the earth, leaving the people of Hinton none the 
better for his having located among them. 

D. G. Lilly was the oldest son of R. C. ("Miller Bob") Lilly, 
and a brother of Hon. A. A. Lilly, now practicing law at Beckley, 
and the prosecuting attorney of that county. D. G. Lilly was 
elected county superintendent of free schools, August 7, 1877, and 
was re-elected, holding the office for two terms. He at one time 
owned the fine Lilly farm on the Bluestone River, now owned by 
his brother, John A. Lilly. Later he removed to Bluefield, and is 
now a resident of that town, engaged in the mercantile business. 
At one time he was the deputy sherifif of Mercer County, and was 
a prominent citizen. 

1. G. Garden was appointed notary public May 15, 1877, which 
office he holds to this day. 

R. C. Lilly was overseer of the poor under contract in 1877, 
and received $950 for maintaining the paupers in the county. 

Patrick Nowland, a brother of Joseph Nowland and a great 
grandson of James Graham, was drowned in the Greenbrier River, 
at Haynes' Ferry, in the fall of 1878. He had been at Alderson, and 
was returning to his home near Clayton, and undertook to ford 
Greenbrier River, which was too full for fording at that time, and 
he was carried down by the rapid current. The mule which he was 
riding escaped by swimming to the shore. 

About the same time Jack Garten, a son of Charles Garten, of 
Forest Hill District, was drowned at the mouth of Greenbrier. He 
had been at Hinton, and undertook to ford Greenbrier; but being 
under the influence of whisky, missed the ford by going up above 


same, just under the shoals. Out of this drowning grew the famous 
suit of Charles Garten, plaintiff, against Dunn & Goldsmith, which 
firm was composed of Luther Dunn and a little Jew, by the name 
of Goldsmith, who were then engaged in the saloon business in 
Upper Hinton. They sold Garten the liquor which intoxicated 
him, and it was in that condition that he undertook to ford Green- 
brier River and was drowned. His father, Charles Garten, sued 
these saloon people for damages ; but the suit never came to trial, 
as the firm of Dunn & Goldsmith failed, and the recovery would 
have been worthless. The suit attracted wide attention at that 
time, and was the first, and possibly the only suit ever prosecuted 
for anything of that character until the last six months prior hereto, 
when Mrs. W. E. Gwinn brought action for the sale of liquor to 
her son, a minor under twenty-one years of age, against practically 
all the saloon people of Hinton, which suits are set for trial at the 
time of this writing, March, 1907. 

John B. Garvey was appointed notary public, March 18. 1878, 
which position he still holds. Gordon L. Jordan was appointed 
notary public May 21, 1878. D. G. Lilly kept the paupers of the 
county for $619, for the year 1878. 

C. H. Payne, the noted colored Baptist preacher, politician and 
lawyer, was granted license to perform the rites of matrimony, 
July 16, 1878. He was a native of Summers County, having been 
reared on the Wilson Sweeney place, on New River, at Crump's 
Bottom. He is one of the most celebrated colored citizens in the 
United States. He is a Doctor of Divinity in the Colored Mission- 
ary Baptist ministry, and licensed to practice law, and now holds an 
appointment as a foreign minister under the administration of 
President Roosevelt, in Liberia, having been formerly appointed 
by President McKinley. He returns to this country and addresses 
the colored population at each election. He is a forceful speaker, 
and has great influence with the colored population, they usually 
following his advice in all elections and voting the Republican 

B. L. Hogue was first elected clerk of the county court on the 
8th of October, 1878, taking office January 1, 1879. He succeeded 
Allen H. Meador, the first clerk, having been deputy under Mr. 

Harrison Gwinn was appointed notary public November 18, 
1878, which office he holds to this day. J. K. Scott, of Hungart's 
Creek, was appointed notary public September 17, 1878, which 
office he held until his death. 


John Prichard, one of the first citizens of Hinton, along with 
George Anderson, came to this city with the coming of the rail- 
road. They were both old Confederate soldiers, having fought 
throughout the Civil War. They were both killed by the trains of 
the railroad, for which they had worked faithfully for many years. 

E, H. Peck was appointed notary public March 16, 1880. 

W. C. Dobins was elected assessor at the October election, 
1880, and held the office for four years, having defeated Walter H. 
Boude, who afterwards held the office for eight years. Mr. Dobins, 
at the time of his election, was a Primitive Baptist preacher, nicknamed 
the "Hardshells." He still resides in Summers County, and 
is now a minister in the Missionary Baptist Church. At the time 
of his election he was an Independent in politics, but has since 
identified himself with the Republican paVty. 

In 1888 he was a candidate and a Republican nominee for the 
Legislature; Hon. John W. Johnson was the Democratic nominee. 
The county went Democratic, and of course Mr. Dobins was de- 
feated. He resides in Jumping Branch District. He has a number 
of sons, all of whom are among the good citizens of the county. 

J. D. K. Foster was elected constable of Green Sulphur Dis- 
trict at the election in October, 1880. W. R. Taylor, at the same 
election, was elected justice of the peace for that district as a Re- 
publican ; Griffith Meadows, of Talcott District, with J. H. Ballen- 
ger, constable, as Democrats. J. E. Meadows was at that election — 
October 12, 1880 — elected justice of the peace of Greenbrier Dis- 
trict as a Republican ; Wm. Hughes and A. G. Austin, for Pipe- 
stem District, and M. Gwinn, for Green Sulphur, as Democrats; 
L. M. Dunn, for Greenbrier, also as a Republican. 

James H. Miller was qualified as superintendent of free schools, 
June 4, 1881, term beginning September 1st, as a Democrat. 

E. C. Flint was appointed justice of the peace for Talcott Dis- 
trict on May 13, 1881. L. G. Lowe was appointed justice of the 
peace for Forest Hill District May 12, 1881. W. H. Manser was 
appointed constable for Greenbrier District May 13, 1881. E. L. 
Dunn was appointed justice of the peace for Forest Hill District 
May 13, 1881. Dr. J. G. Manser was appointed notary public Sep- 
tember 1, 1881. Dr. W. H. Bray was appointed justice of the 
peace December 31, 1881. James H. Crawford was appointed con- 
stable for Greenbrier District January 17, 1882. 

The number of free schools taught in Summers County in 1876 
was 66. The number of pupils attending free schools for that year 
was 1,583; average daily attendance, 1,130. The total funds for all 


school purposes for the county for that year was $7,698.28. The 
total value of all school property for that year was $10,058.50. 

The water gauge was placed in New River at the lower ferry 
at Hinton in January, 1877, by which the Government is enabled 
to correctly ascertain the rise and fall of the river for each day in 
the year. A. G. Flannagan was the first operator, and has contin- 
ued from that date to the present, representing the Government as 
the agent for the Weather Bureau in connection therewith. Mr. 
Flannagan is the oldest United States Government employe, in 
point of time, within the county. The winter of 1876 was one of the 
cdldest remembered. When the ice went out of New River, Jerry 
Meadows picked up below Hinton forty-three fine catfish, which 
he disposed of in town. 

It was in 1876 or 1877 that the celebrated purchase of the old 
"Neeley" grist mill, on Bluestone, was made of W. B. Crump, by 
B. F. H. Sheppard, who was afterwards convicted and sent to the 
penitentiary. He used in the transaction notes forged for the pur- 
pose, for which he was convicted, having forged the name of Wil- 
liam Campbell, of Franklin County, Va. He transferred these 
notes to William B. Crump in payment for this valuable mill prop- 
erty, and took deed for the property. The notes came due, his 
forgery was detected, and his conviction followed. 

The first attempt made for the benefit of theater-goers in the 
county was by local playwrights, when the Thespian Society was 
organized on the 15th of February, 1877. A large frame hall was 
erected on the corner opposite the hospital of Dr. J. F. Bigony, 
in Middle Hinton. It was one story, with a stage, gallery, and ar- 
ranged as an opera house. Charles Fredeking was the chief pro- 
moter, painted the scenery, and had. charge. The actors were local, 
and quite a number of entertainments gotten ofif. As a financial 
proposition it was a failure; and after a few years of intermittent 
life it was abandoned, and the promoters were financial losers. 

The first sailing craft on New River was constructed at Hin- 
ton by Captain Frank Dennis, and named by him the "Black 
Hawk." It plied around in the basin at Upper Hinton. It was 
quit a novelty and curiosity in those days. Captain Dennis was a 
remarkable and eccentric gentleman. He was a brother of United 
States Senator George Dennis, of Maryland, and adopted the sail- 
or's occupation in his boyhood, and had made his tracks in every 
country on the face of the globt. He was a man of considerable 
means, and bought out the Manser property at the mouth of the 
Greenbrier, which he afterwards sold to A. F., C. U. and J. H. 


Miller. He purchased a lot on the bank of New River, at Upper 
Hinton, and constructed thereon the most substantial dwelling 
ever erected in the county. To protect it from the floods of the 
New and Greenbrier rivers, he erected three large dressed stone 
chimneys, and tied the hewed logs of the walls together by iron 
rods running from cellar to garret. When the tremendous flood of 
1878 came, it made no impression on this building, although the 
water was about half way to the ceiling on the first floor, and the 
"ell" from the house of Silas Hinton washed down and lodged 
against it. Captain Dennis was a rover and a sailor, and later sold 
out all of his properties, married in his old age, and moved on 

It was in 1877 the excitement ran high over the controverted 
election of General R. B. Hayes over Governor S. J. Tilden for 
President, and Preacher Andy Bennett, in his enthusiasm and pa- 
triotic Democracy, enlisted a company of 100 men, as he claimed, 
and favored moving on to Washington to seat his candidate, Til- 
den. Of course, Andy was dissuaded from his enthusiastic enter- 

The court docket in 1877 represented 48 law cases and 50 chan- 
cery suits. 

In the summer of this year W. L. Ellison killed a rattlesnake, 
the largest reported in the county, which was four and one-half feet 
long, eight inches in circumference, with eighteen rattlers. On 
July 5, 1877, H. H. Martin, of Pipestem, killed a hawk which 
measured five feet from tip to tip. 

The Missionary Baptist Church of Hinton was dedicated July 
15, 1877, by Dr. Dickinson and Dr. Curry, of Richmond. Over 
$500 was raised on the day of dedication towards defraying the 
cost of the building. 

It was in the year 1877 that Greenbrier District was divided 
and Talcott District formed. The name of Tilden was first pro- 
posed, but this was finally dropped and Talcott adopted, the name 
being for Captain Talcott, a civil engineer, who had charge of the 
construction of the Big Bend Tunnel. 


Major Wm. Crump, the owner of Crump's Bottom, died March 
6, 1877. He was a native of Virginia, born September 11, 1793, 
married Miss Gillie Law in 1816, and removed to Summers County, 
in that part then Mercer, in 1855. He purchased the famous 


Crump's Bottom, on New River, opposite the mouth of Indian, 
which was first known as Culbertson's Bottom, then Reed's Bot- 
tom, then Crump's Bottom, and is now partly owned by Geo. W. 
Harmon and by the heirs of John T. Shumate, deceased. This 
magnificent plantation is the finest estate in the county. It is six 
miles long. The large brick residence was constructed by Major 
Crump many years ago, on an eminence in the bend of the New 
River, overlooking same. Major Crump was a Primitive Baptist in 
religious matters, having connected himself with that church in 
1805. He was a gentleman by birth and a nobleman by nature. 
So genial was his nature and so generous his hospitality that 
neither in peace nor in war was a stranger turned hungry from his 
door. He belonged to that old class of plain Virginia gentleman 
rapidly passing away, and no doubt in a few years will be known 
only in legendary history of the land. He was succeeded by his 
son, William B. Crump, who died some twenty years ago, having 
divided his estate between his daughters and their husbands. Col. 
John G. Crockett and his wife Ella, and W. C. Crockett and his 
wife Mary, who resided on the plantation for a number of years, 
and from them the title and possession passed to the present own- 
ers. Col. John G. Crockett was a Virginia gentleman of generous 
impulses. He represented the county in the Legislature two terms. 
Wm. C. Crockett later became a preacher in the M. E. Church 
South. He is a warm-hearted Christian gentleman, and now resides 
in Southwest Virginia. Col. John G. Crockett, who was an afficer 
in the Confederate Army during the war, died in California in 1906. 

It was in 1877 the vote was taken throughout the State on the 
permanent location of the capital. In this county Charleston re- 
ceived 1,410 votes; Clarksburg, 3; Martinsburg, 1. This vote was 
taken at the school election. The candidates for county superintend- 
ent were D. G. Lilly, who received 515 votes; Charles L. Ellison, 
who received 318 votes; Rufus Deeds, 481 votes; Rev. H. C. Tins- 
ley, 6 votes. No political nominations were made. This election 
was held August 18. 1877. 

The first first-class hotel of any consequence opened in Hinton 
was the Hotchkiss House, erected and conducted by John M. Car- 
den, the present efficient assistant deputy clerk of the county court. 
The building is still standing, opposite the court house, and is now 
occupied by Mr. Garden as a private residence. It was opened as a 
hotel August 23, 1877. It was named for Jed. Hotchkiss, the cele- 
brated promoter, soldier and civil engineer. 

It was on the ZOth of July, 1877, that Captain Dolittle, the Dep- 


uty United States Marshal, was shot in Jumping Branch District, 
on the Giles and Fayette turnpike. He was shot in the leg and arm 
by moonshiners, while making a raid on these alleged violators of 
the internal revenue laws, which were claimed to infest the west 
side of New River in those days. The shooting caused a great 
furor through the press at that time, and much criticism was 
brought out for and against the action of the Government officials. 

The number of children enumerated, that were entitled to at- 
tend the free schools in the county this year, was 2,357. 

It was in 1877 that the Hereford Guards, the first military or- 
ganization in the county, was organized. It was a fine company 
of men, not connected, however, with the army of the Republic, 
but was a State organization. The election of officers took place on 
August 30. N. M. Lowry was elected C3.ptain ; L. M. Dunn, first 
lieutenant; W. H. Thompson, second lieutenant; R. A. McGinnity, 
first sergeant; W. C. Ridgeway, second sergeant; B. L. Hoge, third 
sergeant ; Jas. H. Hobbs, fourth sergeant ; M. M. Breen, first cor- 
poral; W. H. Pemberton, second corporal. 

In those days squirrel hunts were a favorite pastime. One was 
held at Shumate's, in Pipestem. at which 115 were killed with 

In 1877, 110 freight cars were shipped out from the yards per 
week, which was considered a large business. 

The county levy for 1877 was 85 cents, and an additional levy 
of ten cents to pay on old drafts. 

At the September term of the court in 1877, Ed. Kelley, the 
afterwards famous old darkey of Scrapper's Corners, was sentenced 
to the penitentiary for eighteen months for assault at the round 
house ; and James Fisher, of Forest Hill District, sentenced to five 
years for horse-stealing. 

It was in October of this year that M. Bibb was called to the 
pastorate of the First Baptist Church, which continued until he 
resigned on account of ill health. 

John McGee, the present chief of police of the city of Hinton, 
with his father, O. McGee, were the first butchers who ever estab- 
lished the butcher business in Summers County. Their slaughter- 
pens were near the present residence of A. G. Fredeking, in the 
lower part of Hinton. They were from Spottsylvania, Virginia. 

The county levy for 1877 amounted to $7,952.19. The amount 
expended during that year was $6,706.50. 

On October 11, 1877, W. A. Ouarrier. then fish commissioner, 
placed 5,000 black bass in Greenbrier River at Caldwell. This was 


the first stock of these fish placed in that river, which was done 
at the request of Major John W. Harris. 

The" first photograph gallery that was established in the county 
was in October, 1877, by F. M. Starbuck, in Avis. 

The first drug store ever established in the county was at New 
Richmond, by Dr. Samuel Williams and Dr. N. W. Noel, during the 
construction of the C. & O. Railway, in 1872. The first drug store 
established in Hinton was by Dr. Patterson, on the corner of Third 
and Summers Streets, in the present Peck Building. 

The volume of business done at Talcott Station, shown by C. 
E. Lacy, the first agent at that place, in 1877, showed: Tobacco, 
210,322 pounds; other freight, 1,558,312 pounds. The freight at 
Lowell in 1877 was 2,625 cattle, 815 hogs, 2,375 sheep, 10,400 pounds 
of tobacco. It was then only a flag station. The famous Tom 
Quinn had some time before this established, during 1877 and 1878, 
and was operating, his fleet of batteaux boats on New River, from 
Shanklin's Ferry to Hinton. His wharf was at Upper Hinton, and 
the freight carried consisted largely of tobacco, farm products and 
lumber, tobacco largely predominating. Pipestem and Forest Hill, 
in those days, were large tobacco producing districts, an industry 
which has long since been entirely suspended. 

The freight shipped from New Richmond depot in 1877 amount- 
ed to 4,010,307 pounds. The West \'^irginia powder mills were 
completed at New Richmond in 1877, and the manufactured prod- 
uct amounted to 600 pounds per day. The falls of Lick Creek, 
one-half mile above its mouth, were utilized for water power. A 
substantial dam was constructed on top of these tails. The powder 
factory was built about three hundred yards below, and the water 
conveyed by a race thereto. The building was a two-story frame, 
with a large overshot water-wheel. The company was organized 
by Eastern capitalists, General Williams and Jos. L. Beury, the 
celebrated coal operator of Fayette, being interested ; but the con- 
cern was not substantially backed financially, and was later aban- 
doned. Finally the plant was burned by incendiaries, and the dam 
went to destruction from the elements. Before its destruction, 
however, it went into the hands of a receiver, and was sold under 
the hammer. 

In April, 1878, Captain N. M. Lowery placed another supply of 
black bass at Wiggins, four miles from its mouth. 

Captain Orberson was also operating a fleet of boats up and 
down New River, consisting of the Black Swan, Lilly Dale, Black 
Maria and Wild Goose. 


Barger's Springs Postoffice was established in May, 1878, with 
William H. Barger the first postmaster. The postmasters since 
have been : W. G. Barger, Andrew L. Campbell and E. L. Dunn. 

Jas. H. Bledsoe died in 1878. He was the first successful mer- 
chant who engaged in the mercantile business on Lick Creek, in 
Green Sulphur District, after the war. In those days he hauled his 
goods from Charleston, Jackson's River, and later from White 
Sulphur Springs. A little box of matches, containing 100, sold at 
ten cents; straw hats, sewed together with fiax thread, for $1.00; 
a barrel of Kanawha salt sold at $9.00. 

It was in 1878 that the first Catholic Church was completed, 
which was located in Hinton, and is the building now occupied for 
the Catholic rectory, on the lot upon which is now situated a hand- 
some brick Catholic church. This church was erected through the 
efforts of Father David P. Walsh. 

In May, 1878, Adam Poff, from Jumping Branch District, killed 
a catamount three feet long and twenty inches high, the largest 
known to have been killed within the county. 

The contract for keeping the paupers for 1878 was awarded to 
D. G. Lilly, at $619. In 1877 it had been awarded to the same gen- 
tleman for $1,000. 

In 1878 a great storm visited the flat top country. John Vest's 
house was unroofed, and a pine tree was torn up and carried sev- 
eral miles and deposited in his field. A heavy iron kettle was 
blown away and never found. 

In 1878 the construction of a steamboat was undertaken by a 
number of enterp-rising citizens of the county, and on the 15th of 
June a great excursion was pulled off from Hinton to the mouth of 
Bluestone, consisting of boats in the river and vehicles by land, 
practically all of the population turning out. Speeches were made, 
a large amount of subscriptions to the enterprise being secured. 
The boat was afterwards completed, and known as the "Cecilia." 
It made a few trips between Hinton and Bull Falls, but proved to 
be a failure, being too large for the rough waters through which 
it had to pass. The promoters of the enterprise lost largely. 

The Methodist Episcopal Church South was formally dedicated 
in June, 1878; Vincent W. Wheeler, pastor; Rev. Dr. J. J. Lafferty 
preaching the dedication sermon. 

Whitcomb Lodge, No. 62, A. F. & A. M., was installed in 1878; 
and it was during this year that the first appropriation made by 
the Government for improving New River was made by Congress. 


The Hinton postofifice was not made a postoffice money-order 
office until June, 1878, 

Bears were still occasionally seen in this section of the country 
as late as 1878. In July of that year a large black bear was seen 
crossing the field of L. Ballengee, just above Hinton. 

In 1878 Jos. Keaton, at Pipestem, found a rifle ball in a tree near 
its heart, while riveing boards. This rifle ball had been fired into 
this tree 135 years before. He counted the growths, and found, 
according to this count, that the ball was fired 135 years before. 

Summers County was yet without a jail, having used the Ra- 
leigh jail, and in August, 1878, the county court adopted the jail of 
Greenbrier County, which was continued until the jail now in use 
was constructed. The first jail, however, used for the county, was 
the one-story, one-room log house still standing in Avis. 

But one justice of the peace had been elected in Pipestem Dis- 
trict prior to 1878; but the population having increased over 1,200, 
the second justice was first elected for that district in this year. 

The first colored Baptist Church in the county was begun in 
Hinton in August, 1878. 

Shan. RoUison, a son of Chas. Rollison, the founder of Rollins- 
burg, was an independent candidate for the Legislature in 1878, 
lut withdrew before the election in a strong letter to the people 
advocating the election of the Democratic nominee; and he is still 
a Bryan Democrat. B. S. Thompson was candidate for clerk of the 
county court against E. H. Peck; M. Gwinn, for the Legislature. 
R. F. Dennis, of Lewisburg, was nominated August 6, 1878, for 
State Senate, to represent the Eighth Senatorial District. 

J. M. Carden was also a candidate for clerk of the county court, 
E. H. Peck being elected. 

On August 22, 1878, a public meeting of the citizens of Hinton 
was held at the court house, for the purpose of taking action to- 
wards securing a graded school for Hinton, to be taught ten months. 
This was the first action towards a high school in Summers County. 

James Johnson, the venerable colored citizen of Avis, was dur- 
ing this time in his palmy days. He was captain of Captain Tom 
Quinn's "Black Swan," plying between Hinton and the salt work». 
"Uncle Jim," as he is usually known, is now nearly ninety years 
of age, still hale and hearty, independent, votes for whom he pleases, 
and is the oldest river man in the county. 

The Covington & Ohio Railway was originally incorporated in 
March, 1866, by an Act of the Legislature, which provided that no 


taxation should be imposed until the profits were ten per cent, on 
capital; and another Act, of February, 1867, provided for the com- 
pletion of this road and consolidation with the Virginia Central ; 
the West Virginia Central, the South Side, with the Norfolk & 
Petersburg R. R. Company, and for completion of the work of the 
Chesapeake Railway to the Ohio River ; and on consolidation 
the new company became vested with all the property rights, 
privileges and franchises which may have vested in either of the 
other companies prior to the acts of the consolidation ; the consoli- 
dated roads thereafter taken to be known as the Chesapeake & 
Ohio Railroad Company ; and the charter of the C. & O. Railroad 
Company was confirmed January 26, 1870. It was by virtue of 
these acts of the Legislature that the C. & O. Railway Co. claimed 
indemnity for many years from the burdens of taxation, and not 
the Act of 1875. Long litigation eventually followed, resulting 
finally in a decision of the Supreme Court of the United States 
requiring payment of taxes the same as individuals. Afterwards 
the C. & O. Railroad Co. went into the hands of a receiver, was 
sold, reorganization took place, and was succeeded by the Chesa- 
peake & Ohio Railway Company. The Newport News & Missis- 
sippi Valley Co. was organized, and took over the entire system, 
under which name it was operated for a year or two, but after- 
wards reverted to the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway Co. 

The markets of November 27, 1877, showed eggs at 12^/^ cents 
per dozen; good butter, 20 cents; chickens, $1.50 per dozen; tur- 
keys, 15 cents per pound; corn, 50 cents per bushel; oats, 30 cents 
per bushel; wheat, $1.10; rye, 60 cents; meal, 50 cents; and beef, 
7 and 8 cents per pound. 

A. Williams, the courteous proprietor of the hotel at Beckley, 
began operating a hotel in Hinton in 1878, and continued for sev- 
eral years. 

The improvements by the United States Government, with 
J. Proctor Smith in charge, began September 18, 1878, and contin- 
ued for some time. Large channels were cut through the shoals 
and shallow places, aiding the batteaux in passage ; but otherwise 
no practical benefits have been derived. The operations were se- 
cured by the energy of Frank Hereford, a lawyer of Union, then 
in Congress. 

It was on the 9th of September, 1878, that the great greenback 
speech of Henry S. Walker was delivered at Hinton. He was the 
greatest orator ever produced by the State, and one of the greatest 


ever produced by any country. He was replied to on this occasion 
by Hon. Robt. Dennis, of Lewisburg, and Captain Elbert Fowler, 
of this county; and on the same day Dr. B. P. Gooch was nominated 
for delegate to the Legislature over Hon. M. Gwinn. The Green- 
backers at this election nominated a ticket. John Graham was 
an independent candidate for the Legislature at this election. 

The lumber mills of William James & Sons were built in the 
fall of 1878. 

The August election for 1878 showed the following results: 
John E. Kenna, D^morcat, for Congress, 748 votes ; Walker, Green- 
back-Fusion, 205 votes; R. F. Dennis, State Senate, 646; Alex. 
Knight, Rep., 505 ; B. P. Gooch, Legislature, 585 ; J. C. Woodson, 
Greenback- Fusion, 503; John Graham, Independent, 289; B. L. 
Hoge, for circuit clerk, no opposition; E. H. Peck, Democrat, 7Z7 \ 
B. S. Thompson, Democrat, 484; J. M. Garden, Democrat, 176. No 
nominations were made for county officers, except for House of 

The State school fund in 1878 was distributed as follows: For- 
est Hill District, $466.20^ Greenbrier, $876.90; Green Sulphur Dis- 
trict, $523.90; Jumping Branch District, $545.60; Pipestem Dis- 
trict, $467.35; total, $2,879.75. 

William Hughes and W' . C. Crockett were elected justices of the 
peace for Pipestem. 

In October, 1878, Josiah Lilly, of Jumping Branch District, was 
shot by Geo. W. Solesberry, with intent to kill. Lilly offered a 
reward of $25 for the apprehension of Solesberry. Solesberry was 
never apprehended, but was indicted about twenty years after- 
wards and acquitted. 

The. steamboat "Cecilia" was launched on the 7th of Novem- 
ber, 1878, and made its trial trip December 19th. Its length was 
120 feet; 20 feet wide at beam, 124 feet boiler, carrying 175 pounds 
of steam ; 28-inch cylinders, 30-inch stroke, with powerful dummy 
engine. It was named after Mrs. Cecilia Miller, wife of William J. 
Miller, a locomotive engineer, who first suggested the steamboat 
scheme. J. H. Gunther, then railway agent at Hinton, was active 
in its promotion. R. R. Flannagan was also a large stockholder. 
The boat was entirely too large, and was, after a few trips, al:ian- 
doned, and the loss was practically total. It was scheduled to 
make three trips a week. 

The first brick school building was constructed in 1879. The 
citizens held a mass-meeting at the Baptist Church, and began an 


agitation, which resulted in the construction of what was then 
considered a fine building. It was two stories, with four rooms, 
and was located where the present modern building is now situ- 

On January 5, 1879, Captain Wm. A. Reid died on his farm in 
the extreme upper end of the county. He was a gallant soldier 
in the Confederate Army, and returned to his farm after the war, 
and was elected justice of the peace, which office he held at the 
date of his death. Prof. John D. Swinney, now of Pittsburg, Pa., 
married his daughter. W. C. Crockett was appointed justice of the 
peace for Pipestem District as his successor. 

The appropriations made for New River improvements in 1879 
amounted to $12,000. 

J. H. Barger, a prominent farmer of Forest Hill District, also 
engaged in the manufacture of tobacco, died in March, 1879, at 
his residence in that district. He was an intelligent and enterpris- 
ing citizen, and an uncle of W. A. Barger, the present member of 
the county court. 

The public school in the city of Hintoft was taught in 1879 by 
Dr. W. H. Manser and Miss Anna Hoge. The terms in those days 
were four months. In 1880 the school was taught by Chas. A. 
Clark and Jas. H. Miller. 

The county court for this year fixed the number of days' work 
on the public roads at six days for each man over twenty-one years 
and under fifty. 

The first agitation for oil and salt in this region, after the con- 
struction of the railroad, was in 1879, when the Hinlon Oil, Salt & 
Mineral Co. was organized in March, the purpose being to bore for 
oil, salt and other valuables. J. W. Fuller was president, and 
M. A. RifTe, treasurer. Considerable prospecting was done, and 
finally a well put down. 600 feet, just beyond Stretcher's Neck tun- 
nel, at McKendree ; but nothing came of it. Considerable talk was 
indulged in that there was salt at Meadow Creek, by reason of the 
cattle congregating at a certain point near that place and using it 
for a lick. They came from all the region round about. When a 
farmer lost his stock, he usually found that they had strayed ofif to 
this point in search of salt water. 

The first trial for murder in this county was that of Page Ed- 
wards, a colored man, for killing his wife, on March 15, 1879. 
About the same time Flugh J. Wilburn killed Geo. W. Farley at 
Pipestem. Wilburn being suspicious of Farley, prepared himself 


with a shotgun, found Farley at his house, and, when he under- 
took to run away, shot him deliberately, "however, having serious 
provocation therefor. Wilburn left the country, and has never re- 
turned from that day to this. He was closely pursued by G. L. 
Lilly, deputy sheriff, but succeeded in making his final escape 
Edwards killed his wife at Talcott, and was tried at the April term, 
1879, by the circuit court. He was defended by Mark Jarrett, a 
young lawyer of Greenbier County, a son of James Jarrett, who 
had recently graduated, and was an orator of growing reputation, 
and who died several years afterwards in Portland, Oregon. 

The population of Hinton, including Avis, on June 12, 1879, 
from a census taken at that time, showed 775 whites and 225 blacks, 
a total population of 1,000. The number of youths between six 
and twenty-one years was 170 whites and 70 blacks. This was 
quite an increase, without a boom, as there were in the spring of 
1873 only six houses in the town, and two years before but two. 

The assessment in 1879 showed the number of horses and mules 
in the county to be 1,539, valued at $51,921 ; number of cattle, 3,- 
596, valued at $41,078; number of sheep, 4,426, valued at $4,426 — 
one dollar a head; number of hogs, 862, valued at $1,886; total 
value of personal and real estate for that year being $793,295, a de- 
crease of $41,000 from 1878. There were 1,449 white male inhab- 
itants over twenty-one years of age, and 128 colored, making a total 
population of male inhabitants between those ages within the 
county for 1879 of 1,577. 

It was on the 17th day of January, 1879, the famous negro riot 
began in Hinton. A fight occurred between Lon M. Peck, then a 
telegraph operator, and Pointdexter, a negro, after which the ne- 
groes undertook to mob Peck, and a riot ensued, the whites turn- 
ing out in full force, and for some time a young rebellion was in 
operation. The miners came up from New River coal regions and 
whipped a number of negroes, among them being Jim Nickell, Gary 
Lewis and Dick America, the leaders, who were driven from town. 

In July of this year James Johnson, colored, caught a catfish 
at the mouth of Bluestone River which weighed thirty-nine pounds 
— one of the largest ever caught in the county. 

The Hinton Milling Go. was organized July 25, 1879, in which 
Gaptain R. H. Maxwell and some gcntlcnicn from Cleveland were 
interested, including J. R. Garmack, who operated in this section 
for some years, building a large steam mill on the bank of New 
River, from where the old Mills mansion had been washed away. 


Col. J. J. Swope afterwards acquired the property, which later 
passed into the hands of* J. A. Graham and D. M. Meador, and was 
finally destroyed by fire about five years ago. 

A school election was held on August 5, 1879. The candidates 
were D. G. Lilly and Jas. Prince. Lilly received 472 votes, and 
Prince 322. J. C. James was elected president of the Board of Ed- 
ucation of Greenbrier District; Henry Milburn, member of the 

The first attempt made to incorporate the territory now in- 
cluded in Avis and Hinton into a town was made on the 12th of 
August, 1879, the vote being against incorporation. A year after- 
wards Hinton voted to incorporate its present territorial limits, 
leaving Avis in the countrv. It was in Tulv of this vear that the 
Red Sulphur Springs, in Monroe County, near the Summers County 
line, was sold to Aforton, Bliss & Co., of New York, for $9,000. 
A well was drilled at the mouth of Piney about this time for oil. 
Gas was discovered at a depth of 300 feet. 

Captain N. '\\. Lowery, a Hinton lawyer, was appointed fish 
commissioner in 1879. 

The financial statement for that year showed : Receipts, $6,- 
531.85; disbursements, $5,580.79. It was in this year also that the 
Hinton "Banner," a Greenback paper, suspended publication. 

The State fund for this vear was distributed as follows : Forest 
Hill District. $436.76; Greenbrier, $889.53; Green Sulphur, $446; 
Jumping Branch. $491.14; Pipestem, $419.14; total for the county, 

Col. AA'. B. Sprowl, the veteran hotel man, of the firm of 
Sprowl & Perkins, proprietors of the New River Hotel, one of the 
first hotels established in the town, died October 9, 1879. 

The postofifice at Clayton was established in November of this 
year; and in the same month a second telegraph wire was strung 
between White Sulphur and Hinton, there being but one line prior 
to that time. 

It was on November 13, 1879, that the celebrated house robbery 
of Crockett's store was done, by Jarrett Ballard, Henry Clark, Jas- 
per Wiseman and Green Evans, by which they secured $675 in cash 
and a large amount of merchandise. They went under the house 
and cut through the floor. Through the energy and activity of 
Captain Fowler one confessed, and the whole gang was captured 
and sentenced to the penitentiary. 

gSim»<"HWIIIiH<.<rJg^8 «fW!»Utt«^*:- 'V^^w. 

Of the Millers, Built One Hundred Years Ago. 




In the construction originally of the C. & O. R. R., wooden 
trestles were erected across Big Creek and Rowley's Creek, be- 
tween Hinton and the Big Bend tunnel ; that across Big Creek 
being seventy feet high. They have each been taken out, and fdls 
and culverts placed in their stead. On March 25, 1881, a terrible 
railroad disaster occurred at the Big Creek trestle. A freight train 
was coming west over it, with a Mr. Nagle in charge of the en- 
gine ; the trestle gave way near the west embankment, throwing 
the engine crew and train all into the bottom below. The timbers, 
being as dry as powder, immediately took fire. The wrecking 
crew of Captain Brightwell was hurried to the scene. Great crowds 
of people gathered. It was a sight never to be forgotten — the 
timbers and train burning, the dead and wounded lying around, 
the wrecked engine and machinery scattered, and a great gap in 
the line of road. Mr. Nagle, the engineer, was badly injured; 
Thomas McWilliams, killed outright; also, Heslip, and others, 
whose names are not now remembered, injured. Twenty-four cars 
went down, and several were burned. This resulted in the present 
crossing being made. Later on a wreck of the "Fast Flying 
Virginian" passenger train occurred by running into a rock, which 
had slid from the clifls above, at a point a short distance above the 
mouth of Greenbrier, opposite Lafayette Ballengee's residence, 
throwing the mail and baggage cars over the embankment, one end 
at the water's edge, the other pointing to the track ; the engine being 
thrown on the upper side and wrecked, and great damage done. No 
passengers were injured, but the engineer was badly hurt. 

The enumeration of the youths for 1882 showed as follows: 
Greenbrier, 286 males, 263 females ; Jumping Branch, 268 males, 
267 females; Talcott, 234 males, 272 females; Pipestem, 266 males, 
222 females ; Green Sulphur, 235 males, 264 females ; Forest Hill, 
241 males, 265 females; total in the county, 1,650 males, 1,503 fe- 
males ; whole total, 3,750. 


J. B. Jackson, Democrat 958 

Geo. C. Sturgis, Republican 590 

N, B. French, Greenback 188 


N. M. Lowery, Democrat, House of Delegates: 

Hinton 240 

Talcott 124 

Green Sulphur 60 

Griffith's Creek 26 

Forest Hill 51 

Keatley's 33 

Salt Works 25 

Pipestem 90 

Ellison's 40 

Jumping Branch 71 

New Richmond . . . . : 58 

Total 818 

Jonathan Lilly, Greenback-Republican Fusion : 

Hinton 204 

Talcott 83 

Griffith's Creek '. 45 

Forest Hill 45 

Keatley's 78 

Salt Works . . 45 

Pipestem 23 

Ellison's "... 39 

Jumping Branch . 84 

New Richmond 78 

Green Sulphur 59 

Total . 813 

For prosecuting attorney, Elbert Fowler, Democrat, received 
673 votes; William R. Thompson, Democrat, 679; J. W. Malcolm, 
Greenback, 387. 

For sheriff, H. Gwinn, Democrat, 926; S. W. Willey, 766. 

For president of county court, M. C. Parker, 840 ; A. L. Harvey, 

For commisioner county court, Jos. Hinton, Democrat, 605 ; 
B, P. Shumate, Democrat, 643 ; J. C. McNeer, Democrat. 573 ; John 
Grahawi, Republican, 514; L. A. Shanklin, Greenback, 469; J. H. 
Duncan, Greenback, 469; Z. A. Woodson, Independent, 119. 


For assessor, James O'Meara, 137; Levi Neeley, Sr., 415; T. R. 
Aladdy, 365 ; W. C. Dobbins, 594. 

For surveyor, William Houchins, Jr., 382; M. Smith, 780; Zach 
Martin, 403. 

No nominations except for House of Delegates were made. 

The first mayor of Hinton was W. O. Benedict, elected without 
contest. James Prince, first recorder; R. R. Flannagin. James 
Coast, B. Prince, W. F. McClung, J. H. Gunther composed the first 
council elected in 1880. 

The justices for Greenbrier District electejd at this election were 
L. M. Dunn and Jas. E. Meadows; Green Sulphur District, M. 
Gwinn and Wm. R. Taylor; Talcott, Griffith Meadows and E. C. 
Flint; Forest Hill, E. L. Dunn and L. G. Lowe; Jumping Branch. 
J. A. Parker and John W. Harvey; Pipestem, William Hughes and 
A. G. Austin. 

The State school fund for 1880 was distributed as follows: 

Forest Hill $414.77 

Greenbrier 497.90 

Green Sulphur 451.93 

Jumping Branch 486.18 

Pipestem 422.80 

Talcott 418.68 

Total $2,692.06 

Thos. W. Townsley was elected constable of Forest Hill Dis- 
trict in this year for a term of four years. 

The first town sergeant for the town of Hinton was [Matthew 
Vincent Calloway, afterwards deputy sherifl-" under W. S. Lilly, and 
high sheriff for four years, elected in 1884 over said AA' . S. Lilly, and 
is novv^ holding an honorable position in the Internal Revenue De- 
partment in Washington. Mr. Calloway was a most efficient official 
and genial gentleman. He married a Miss Callahan, of Lynchburg, 
Va. His son, Robert Lowry, is now engaged with the Hinton Hard- 
ware Co., in Hinton. He was one of the first three settlers in 
Hinton, and is one of the pioneers. 

Election of county superintendent May, 17, 1881. TIutc were 
but two candidates, Hon. David Green TJlly, now deput}- sheriff of 
Mercer County, and a resident of Bluefield, who had held tlie office 
for two full terms of two years by election, and James H. Miller. 
No nominations were made, both parties running witlKnit the sup- 


port of the organization of any political party. The vote stood as 

follows ; 

Aliller. Lilly. 

Talcott 98 11 

Hinton 106 148 

Grififith's Creek 31 

Green Sulphur . 84 18 

Jumping Branch S7 42 

New Richmond 30 3 

Ellison's 24 36 

Pipestem 48 14 

Salt Works 22 35 

Forest Hill 2>2) 35 

Keatlevs 23 48 

Total 556 390 

The board of education for Greenbrier District elected was J. C. 
James, president; T. G. Swatts and Peter ]\I. Grimmett; Talcott 
District, Jas. K. Scott, president, and A. J. Wallace and William C. 
Hedrick; Forest Hill, James Keatley, president, and J. F. Barton 
and W. C. Woodrum ; Pipestem, A. T. Clark, president, and James 
Cook and Andrew Williams; Jumping Branch, Levi AI. Neely, Sr., 
president, and Vandalia B. Harvey and F. W. Atkinson, members; 
Green Sulphur, W. J. Harris. Republican, president, and Rev. H. N. 
Fink and J. S. Duncan. 

A street railway for Hinton was agitated as far back as 1881, but 
none has as yet arrived. It was on the 15th of June. 1881, that H. 
W. Fuller was appointed general passenger agent of the C. & O. 
Railway. It was in June, 1881, that A. B. Perkins, J. Prince and 
John P. Mills were elected ruling elders of the Presbyterian Church 
of Hinton. 

In 1838, Wm. E. Miller caught a tortoise on his farm and cut 
the date of capture and initials on its shell and turned it loose. In 
June, 1881, he caught it again, and found the date and initials dis- 
tinctly on its shell. 

The only strike of the C. & O. employees that we have infor- 
mation of was on December 15, 1881, when the rules required each 
conductor to keep two brakemen at the wheel constantly. This 
was strenuous, in winter especially, and a strike was ordered, but 
was shortly adjusted and assumed no great proportions. 

James Prince was appointed by President Harrison postmaster 




























f— « 






























1— 1 






at Hinton, and held a full term of four years. L. M. Dunn had 
held the office from its organization as a fourth-class post office 
until this date, when it had grown some years before into a Presi- 
dential office. 

On June 12th of this year Captain T. O. Sharp, division super- 
intendent, one of the first and most widely known railway men, 
died. He had some time previously lost a leg in a railroad accident. 
Captain Sharp was much beloved, was a Virginia gentleman and 
one of the first settlers of Hinton. His son, Lee, now lives in Hunt- 
ington. His daughters, Mrs. M. J. Cook and Mrs. Prof. Kounse, 
still reside in Hinton, and one other daughter, Mrs. Wall, and 
the widow reside in Huntington. 

James F. Meadows this year cut from his farm near the mouth 
of Greenbrier an oak tree, from which he split 3,750 pipe staves. 
These monarchs of the woods are now all gone and are things of 
the past in this county. 

In June, 1881, Richard Burke and S. F. McBride founded the 
first Republican paper in the county, "The Hinton Republican." 
Mr. Burke removed his "Monroe County Register" from Union and 
started this paper as a weekly local. 

In Jure of this year Mrs. Elizabeth Cales, one of the aboriginal 
settlers, aied, over 100 years old. She died at the residence of 
Eber Willey, in Greenbrier District. 

The court docket of the February Term of the circuit court 
showed 100 State cases; 136 chancery, and 60 law cases; 30 new 
chancery suits being brought to that term. 

It was at this term that Judge Ira McGirmis, of the Cabbell Cir- 
cuit, held court for Judge Holt, and gave the sheriff, clerk and 
attorneys a round shaking up. He fined Sheriff Gwinn twenty-five 
dollars, fined the clerk, and threatened the attorneys, l)ut remitted 
his fines before his adjournment. 

The fine quarry at New Richmond was being operated at that 
place on the lands of J. A. Richmond, fifty men being engaged in 
labor on getting out the stone in 1881. The first hardware store in 
the county was opened by B. Prince in Hinton in 1881. 

The survey for the Atlantic & Northwestern Railroad was com- 
pleted through the county this year. This was the road in which 
the great statesman, James G. Blaine, was interested, and which 
built its line from Richmond, Va., to Clifton Forge, Ya., and then 
sold out all its holdings to the C. & O. 

It was in 1881 that the dwelling of a Mr. Hall, a farmer at the 


mouth of Tom's Run, in Pipestem, was robbed in daylight, the fam- 
ily being absent at church on Sunday. One Ballard and others en- 
tered and took the proceeds of Mr. Hall's tobacco crop from a trunk, 
he having just shipped it and secured the returns from its sale. A 
posse was organized, guards placed at the river crossing, and on the 
following night Allen Ballard and his confederate, who was sup- 
posed to be Henry Keatly, of Stinking Lick, came to one of the 
crossings. Ballard was shot in the thigh and captured, tried later, 
and convicted and sentenced to the penitentiary. The proof was 
not sufficient against Keatly, who was afterwards captured and 
discharged. The money was never recovered. Allen Ballard was a 
son of Baldwin Ballard, one of the richest and most sensible men 
of Monroe County. 

T. G. Swatts was elected mayor of Hinton in 1881. The grove of 
trees now flourishing in the court house park were planted in 1882 
by M. V. Calloway and B. Brice. The census bulletin of 1880 
showed the population of Hinton to be 1,031. The State school 
fund for 1881 was $2,565.88. 

It was in 1881 that Captain Alex Atkinson, one of the builders 
of the round-house in Hinton, and who made the excavation there- 
for, was killed by a train on the C. & O. He was the father of Miss 
Maggie Atkinson, of Hinton, Captain Frank Atkinson, of the 
C. & O., and of Charles, Alex and James Atkinson, all railway em- 
ployees. Captain Alex Atkinson was a noted railway contractor, 
and had aided largely in building the C. & O. Railway, both before 
and after the war. He was a native of Ireland and a man of fine 
judgment and enterprise. 

The number of dogs in 1881 in Forest Hill District was 218; 
Jumping Branch, 235; Pipestem, 181. The tax was $328.00. 

The channel cut by the government in New River was opened 
to mouth of Lick Creek in Pipestem District, May 1, 1881. 

The county levy for this year was ninety-five cents on the 

An oak tree cut from the lands of J. E. Meadows this year pro- 
duced 2,500 pipe staves. 

The- receipts for the county treasury for 1881 was $7,845.87; 
disbursements, $5,788.15, leaving $2,057.72 to pay on the debt of 
the county. 

In 1881, Captain R. H. Maxwell built the largest row-boat for 
plying on New River, to be operated on New River, ever constructed 
in these parts. It was used especially in his lumber and stave busi- 


ness in the upper parts of the county. He was then largely operat- 
ing in the stave trade on Lick Creek in Pipestem, and it was out of 
this business and his contract with Joseph Thompson that the 
famous law actions and suits grew which filled the court records 
for many years, resulting in his success eventually. 

In 1881 the Hereford Guards were ordered by the governor to 
Montgomery to quell a strike of the miners at Crescent. 

The State school fund for this year was distributed as follows : 
Forest Hill, $380.09 ; Greenbrier, $478.86 ; Green Sulphur, $466.42 ; 
Pipestem, $367.64; Talcott, $420.76. 

W. F. Benedict was the first mayor of Hinton, elected January 
5, 1881, and served several terms. Upon the resignation of M. V. 
Calloway as sergeant, J. W. Malcolm, an attorney, now living in 
Charleston, was appointed sergeant. 

Mr. Calloway had a handsome residence and was pleasantly 
situated near the bridge across the branch of the river where R. H. 
Maxwell's house is now situated, all of which was destroyed in the 
great flood of 1878. 

The first session of the county court under the present system 
was held January 18, 1881. 

F. W. Mahood, a very brilliant lawyer and one of the first who 
settled in the county and associated himself with Hon. W. W. 
Adams, died in February, 1881. 

Preston Rives Sherred was an independent candidate for county 
superintendent in 1881. He was a crank who had been over-edu- 
cated, a good man and harmless. He did not make the race to the 
end. The older teachers will remember him, as well as his great 
eccentricities and quaint and original demeanor. 

James H. Miller was a candidate for his first office this year 
against David G. Lilly, defeating him by 166 votes, neither party 
being the nominee of any party — a "scrub race." 

The town of Hinton began passing ordinances against animals 
running at large this year, and have kept it up ever since. 

There was a great scarcity of feed for cattle in the spring of 
1881, and many died for the want of same. 

One of the largest oak trees was cut this year from the lands of 
Lafayette Ballengee, near Hinton, from which he split 2,000 pipe 
staves from the one tree. 

The neatest hotel in the town was the Hinton House, owned 
by William C. Ridgev/ay, located on the corner of Third Avenue and 
Front Street. It was destroyed by fire May 5, 1881. 


Captain W. C. Ridgeway, one of the first settlers of Hinton, was 
appointed to assess the real estate in 1880, but resigned and refused 
appointment, something unusual. Captain Ridgeway was from 
Southwest Virginia, a very warm-hearted, generous man, a veteran 
in the Confederate Army, and owned the Hinton Hotel, on the 
corner. of Third Avenue and Front Street. He was charged at one 
time with manufacturing his own ardent spirits for use in his 
bar-room, with still, etc., in the basement of his hotel, and that, 
when same was burned, a lot of "paraphernalia" for producing the 
"ardent" was destroyed in the fire. It was never known whether 
these rumors were true or false. He sojd liquor, license or 
no license, and was understood to run his "blind tiger." He had 
his faults and his friends. He died several years ago, leaving no 
relatives in this country, and was buried in the Hill Top Cemetery 
and his faults forgotten and his good actions remembered. 

The Episcopal congregation was organized in Hinton about 
1882, the vestrymen elected at the time being Major Benj. S. 
Thompson, Hon. Wm. W. Adams, Hon. Cameron L. Thompson, 
Dr. C. B. Blubaugh and W. J. Garner. 

The report of assessment for personalty, as reported by Alonzo 
M. Hutchinson, who was deputy assessor for 1882, showed as fol- 
lows : Forest Hill, $4,863, increase over 1881 ; Green Sulphur, in- 
crease $1,909; Greenbrier, $8,000, increase; Jumping Branch, $987, 
increase; Pipestem, $4,625. increase; Talcott. $8,131, increase. 

The residence of Hon. Wm. Haynes at Oak Lawn was struck 
by lightning in June, 1882. It struck a small tree near the kitchen, 
demolished the stove, killed a number of chickens, destroyed all 
his dishes, one chair and the dining table, around which Mr. Haynes 
and his family were seated for dinner, but no one was injured. 

The State school fund for 1882 was distributed as follows : Forest 
Hill, $538.50; Talcott, $644.00; Greenbrier, $670.00; Pipestem, 
$574.07; Jumping Branch, $642.00; Green Sulphur, $718.04, a total 
of $3,788.07, quite ar^ increase over 1881, which was $2,555.00. 

Thos. E. Ball and (Curly) Joe Lilly elected in 1882 for justices 
in Jumping Branch District. 

Results of election in 1882 as follows: Kenna, Democrat, 870; 
Butrick, Republican, 624; Reynolds, Prohibition, 69; A. C. Snyder, 
Democrat, for judge of Supreme Court, 928; F. A. Guthrie, Green- 
back Republican, 640; J. G. Lobban, State Senate, Democrat, 832; 
Jas. Mann, 646; A. A. Miller, House of Delegates, 904; S. W. 
Willey, 683; B. P. Shumate, commissioner county court, 872; Syl- 


vester Upton, 711. For issue of bonds to build jail, 949, against 396. 
Republican vote in 1880 was 590; in 1882, 683. There were 1,700 
votes cast at the election in 1882. This was one of the liveliest 
campaigns ever conducted in Summers County. 

In 1882 there were 239 whites and twelve colored inhabitants 
assessed for capitation in Forest Hill District ; 267 horses and mules, 
581 cattle, 1,047 sheep, 38 hogs, 75 wagons. Farming utensils as- 
sessed at $1,275.00; total personal property, $30,555.00. This was 
for Forest Hill District. Greenbrier District, 467 whites and fifty- 
six colored capitations; 191 horees and mules, 343 sheep, 356 hogs, 
30 wagons; value of farm utensils, $779.00; total personal property 
assessment, $83,892.00. Green Sulphur District, 363 whites and ten 
colored assessed for capitation ; 306 horses and mules, 961 cattle, 
1,028 sheep, 142 hogs, 61 wagons; farming utensils valued at 
$1,852,00; total, $68,755.00. Jumping Branch District, 316 whites, 
nine colored capitations ; 271 horses and mules, 769 cattle, 754 sheep, 
202 ho^s, 48 wagons; farming utensils, $1,208.00; total personal 
property, $32,320.00. Pipestem District, 262 whites and forty-four 
colored capitations; 263 horses and mules, 615 cattle, 748 sheep, 101 
hogs, 52 wagons; value of farming utensils, $1,032.00; total valu- 
ation, $33,075.00. Talcott District, 272 whites, forty-one colored 
capitations ; 287 horses and mules, 703 cattle, 79 hogs, 78 wagons ; 
value of farming utensils, $1,463.00; total personal property valu- 
ation, $64,903.00. 

Total white males over twenty-one years of age, 1,808; colored. 
173; voting population. 1,980; total personal property valuation in 
county, $313,400.00. In 1881 it was $255,323, an increase of $58,143. 

William Davis one of the oldest farmers in the county, residing 
on the waters of Madam's Creek, raised a beet in 1882 weighing 
fourteen pounds. James Boyd raised a potato near Wiggins which 
weighed two and one-half pounds. 

The stockyards were completed at Pence Springs, on the old 
Samuel Gwinn farm, in 1882, with a capacity to accommodate 800 
cattle. These stockyards were, some twenty years afterwards, 
removed to the city of Avis. 

On December 8, 1882, a fearful wreck occurred at Stretcher's 
Neck Tunnel, caused by a head-end collision in that tunnel, by which 
Henry Ancarrow, engineer, and Patrick Goheen, fireman, of Hinton, 
were instantly killed, the trains being burned up. Frank Kennedy, 
conductor on the Pullman, had both legs broken. Benton Thomp- 
son, baggageman, back and arm broken; John J. Madden, engineer 


on No. 4 passenger train, killed. The collision was caused by No. 4, 
a passenger train, and a freight colliding. Andrew Cash, a news- 
boy, had his ankle broken ; Robert Dickinson, brakeman, slightly 
hurt; Stephen Coleman, porter, slightly injured. 

The Hinton Republican newspaper suspended after the election 
in 1882, Richard Burk, editor and publisher. 

The real estate valuation, as completed by J. M. Allen in 1882, 
amounted to $682,370.00 for the county, an increase of $76,685.00 
over 1875. In 1875 the valuation made by S. W. Willey amounted 
to $605,648.00. 

In 1882, Hiram Scott, the veteran hotel-keeper died, who early 
in the settlement of the town of Hinton opened the New River 
Hotel on the site where the Chesapeake Hotel is now situated. He 
was the father of Mrs. C. B. Mahon, Mrs. R. T. Dolin, and Mrs. 
Wm. Browiflg. He was born June 24, 1812, his death occurring 
June 28, . 

The contract for the present brick jail was let in 1883. 

Under the old law and Constitution prior to 1881, the 
county courts were composed of justices of the peace, and classifica- 
tion was made amongst the various justices. On May 21, 1877, this 
classification was made for Summers County — May Term, M. A. 
Manning and M. Gwinn, and November Term, L. M. Dunn and 
J. A. Paiker. 

William R. Thompson admitted to practice law March 20, 1877. 

The rates of toll for the Hinton Ferry, established in 1877, were 
as follows : Six-horse wagon and driver, 60 cents ; four-horse wagon 
and driver, 50 cents ; two-horse wagon and driver, 40 cents ; three- 
horse wagon and driver, 35 cents ; two-horse carriage and driver, 
25 cents; horse and rider, 10 cents; cattle, 5 cents each; each foot 
passenger, 5 cents ; hogs and sheep, per score, 20 cents ; each 100 
pounds of freight, 5 cents. 

Judge David E. Johnson was admitted to practice law in this 
county June 17, 1877. 

Erastus Preston Lowe was drowned at Lowell, March 4, 1875. 
Body recovered April 30th, down at the island at Talcott, Wood- 
son's Island. 

In 1896 a new cable was put across the river at the ferry. 

It was in March, 1883, the Big Bend Tunnel caved in. The 
wooden arching, having become decayed, gave way, and filled up 
the tunnel with stone and debris. A freight train was passing 
through at the time, the engineer and one or two others being 
killed. The passengers had to walk over the Big Bend Mountain, 
a distance of some three miles, and baggage had to be transferred 


by wagon until the tunnel could be opened. This continued far 
several days. A coroner's inquest was held at the instance of 
Captain Elbert Fowler, who was then prosecuting attorney, the 
tunnel condemned, and the railroad company forced to arch the 
tunnel with brick, which took several years to complete, and cost 
an immense sum of money. The work was done without the sus- 
pension of traffic day or night. 

The value of school property in 1883 in the county was $9,521.00. 
There were forty-two log houses and twenty-four frame houses ; 
4,152 children of school age, the total enrollment being only 2,433. 
Total number of teachers for this year was 81 ; 65 white male 
teachers, 10 white female teachers and six colored teachers. The 
receipts for the year were $8,415.18; disbursements, $6,389.32; the 
building fund was $3,855.00. 

W. R. Duerson was elected mayor of Hinton in 1883. D. L. 
Reid was pastor of the M. E. Church South, and T, H. Lacy, rector 
of the Episcopal Church. 

The election results in 1883 were as follows : C. P. Snyder, for 
•Congress, Democrat, 163 ; J. H. Brown, Republican, 202, at Hin- 
ton ; H. F. Kesler, Democrat, for superintendent of schools, 168; 
Albert Cotton, Republican, 193 ; Snyder's total vote in the county 
was 690; Brown's, 637; Kesler's, 681; Cotton's, 641. J. C. James 
was elected president of the Board of Education of Greenbrier 
District, and T. C. Maddy, member of the board. In Talcott Dis- 
trict, A. C. Lowe, president, and A. A. Allen and George A. Boyd, 
members. Forest Hill, W. C. Woodrum, president; J. F. Barton 
and J. H. Manville, members. Green Sulphur, John Hicks, presi- 
dent; J. S. Duncan and W. N. Fink, members. Pipestem, H. H. 
Martin, president ; Jas. Cook and Chapman Farley, members. 
Jumping Branch District, F. W. Atkinson, president; John W. Hin- 
ton and John F. Ellison, members. 

The first cornet band was organized in Hinton in 1883 by W. B. 
Riley, leader; C. W. Bocock, president. 

Caleb Noel, an honored soldier of the War of 1812, died this 
year at the residence of his daughter, Mrs. L. M. Meadows, at the 
mouth of Bluestone. 

J. H. Jordan and Peter F. Grimmett were the examining board 
for this year, and E. H. Peck was the Worthy Master of Whitcomb 
Lodge, No. 62, of the Masonic fraternity. 

County bonds were this year voted for $3,200.00 to pay for the 
construction of the county jail. 


The county levy for 1883 was sixty-five cents on the $100.00. 

C. L. Thompson was favorably spoken of for State auditor on 
the Democratic ticket. He was then editor and proprietor of the 
Mountain Herald newspaper. 

The total amount of State school fund for this year was 

It was during this year that the fatal epidemic of smallpox in- 
fested the county. Dr. Gooch had charge of the management for 
the Board of Health, which was done in a most capable and ef- 
ficient manner. The disease appeared in a malignant form, and 
much suft'ering and a number of deaths resulted therefrom. The 
cost to the county was considerable, but I am unable to state the 

It was during this year that John McGee, town sergeant, was 
knocked down and robbed. 

The assessments for this county for this year were increased 
by the assessors to the extent of $90,000.00. 

The court docket for the September Term of 1883 showed 71 
State cases, 34 common law cases, and 146 chancery cases. 

W. B. Ryder was made general superintendent of the Hunting- 
ton Division of the C. & O. Railway in 1883, succeeding W. P. 
Harris. Raymond Dunn resigned during this year as foreman of 
the roundhouse, and was succeeded by C. L. Robinson. ]Mr. Ryder 
was exceedingly unpopular. He undertook, as superintendent of 
the railway, to control the elections of the county, especially that 
of prosecuting attorney, by reason of the action of Mr. Fowler in 
compelling the company to place the Big Bend Tunnel in a con- 
dition of safety to the public, as well as the railroad employees. 
The arching of this tunnel will remain as a monument forever to the 
fearlessness of Captain Fowler as a public official. Mr. Ryder's 
services were soon after dispensed with. 

John N. Woodson, a colored man, opened a barber shop in 
Hinton directly after the formation of the county. He accumulated 
considerable property. Being made to believe by a coal miner that 
the mountain was full of coal on the opposite side of the river from 
the railway station, he, some time prior to 1883, purchased that 
mountain side beyond the county road at the lower ferry landing 
in Raleigh County, and drove his entry for a coal mine several 
hundred feet into the mountain, spending all of his property and 
bankrupting himself at the enterprise. He abandoned his opera- 
tions in 1883, leaving nothing to show for his enterprise except a 


long tunnel into the mountain, which remains until this day as a 
monument to his industry and bad judgment. 

J. Maston Hutchinson, one of the most esteemed citizens of 
Forest Hill District, died on the 16th day of October, 1883, aged 
sixty-eight years. He was a Methodist in his religious opinions 
and a Republican in politics, but was revered by all persons and 
all classes, and left an honored name to his posterity. 

The establishment of a bank in Hinton was first discussed in 
November, 1883, but the enterprise was not established for several 
years afterwards. 

A new frame missionary Baptist Church, 34 x 50 feet, was built 
this year at Jumping Branch, which cost $1,000.00, R. H. Stewart 
being its first pastor. 

It was on December 8, 1883, that the Republican party in the 
county was re-organized, and Squire Jack Buckland made his 
famous speech, in which he proposed to make the "furriners" take 
a back seat and to relegate them to the rear. 

C. W. Bocock was elected mayor of Hinton for 1884; B. L. 
Hoge, recorder; Robt. Elliott. T. G. Swatts, J. C. McDonald, J. A. 
Rifife, W. F. Galloway, councilmen. 

FOss Post Ofifice was established in June. 1884, with W. L. 
Raines as first postmaster. 

Hon. C. L. Thompson was endorsed by the Democratic party 
for State Auditor by the County Democratic Convention, April 12, 
1884. Summers County then had ten votes in the Democratic State 

Buck Post Office was established in May, 1884, with Jordan 
Grimmett as its first postmaster. 

C. W. Bocock, a descendant of the celebrated Virginia 
Bocock family, one of whom had been Speaker of the House 
of Representatives of the United States Congress, located in Hin- 
ton in 1882 for the practice of the law, forming a co-partnership 
with Nelson M. Lowry, which continued for a year or two. Later, 
he was elected mayor of the town, but finally removed to Texas. 

John W. Harvey was elected justice of the peace of Jumping 
Branch District May 13. 1881, Joseph A. Parker being the other 
justice for the district. James H. Hobbs was elected constable of 
Greenbrier District at the October election, 1881. 

The court house yard was first enclosed in by a fence under 
contract between the county court and G. C. Hughes, on June 
26, 1884. It was a plain, rough-sawed plank and post fence, and 
cost $1.50 per rod. 


The levy for county purposes in 1884 was fifty cents on the 
$100.00 valuation. 

The State school fund for this year amounted to $3,656.70. 

The Teachers' Institute for the county for this year — 188^1 — 
was conducted by Prof. J. W. Hinkle, of Greenbrier County, a 
graduate of the Concord Normal School, and a self-made man who 
had arisen high in his profession and had been several terms county 
superintendent of free schools of Greenbrier County — a Christian 
gentleman and a magnificent man. He was afterwards elected prin- 
cipal of the Hinton High School, and, while conducting that school, 
died from typhoid fever under forty years of age. 

The first colored Methodist Church was begun in 1884. 

It was in 1884 that the West Virginia stone for the Washington 
Monument was secured. This stone came from the quarry at New 
Richmond, through Drs. Samuel Williams and Gooch, and is now 
in that great monument, a representative of the State and a monu- 
ment to Summers County. 

S. F. McBride began the publication of the "Hinton Headlight" 
August 26, 1884, a Republican newspaper. 

Col. John G. Crockett was elected as a Democrat to the House 
of Delegates in 1884; E. H. Peck, clerk of the county court; B. L. 
Hoge, clerk of the circuit court; and W. H. Bande, assessor; James 
H. Miller, prosecuting attorney, and M. V. Calloway, sheriff. 

M. C. Barker threshed 800 bushels of wheat on his Gatliff Bot- 
tom this year. 

Frank Ellison, the father of Rev. M. Ellison, died December 
14, 1880, aged ninety years. 

The Hinton post office was robbed December 26, 1879, the 
robber securing $13.00. 

Agitation for a bridge across New River was first begun in 1880, 
but nothing was accomplished until 1906, when the new iron bridge 
was completed. 

The court house bell was purchased in January, 1880. 

Jarrett Ballard was sentenced to two years in the penitentiary; 
Clark, five years, and Green Evans four years in the February Term, 
1880, for breaking into the storehouse of Colonel Crockett. 

John L. Gilbert, a noted Methodist preacher well known in the 
county, died in February, 1880. 

To illustrate the general character of the late L. M. Dunn, we 
give the story of Mary Eliza Boon, who was the daughter of a 
poor woman of the county. She, while only a small child, was 


carried into captivity in 1874, and her return to her mother was 
by the efforts and at the expense of Mr. Dunn. Her mother's name 
was Minerva Staten, and married a Boon. A man by the name of 
Newell stole the child and carried her to Kentucky. Squire Dunn, 
learning of the circumstances, put out inquiries and had detectives 
put to. work. After several years the child was located, but the 
woman was too poor to take any action. Mr. Dunn sent and had 
the man Newell arrested, who denied strenuously the authenticity 
of the claim ; but, from what the child could detail, there was no 
doubt, and, in order to prevent imprisonment, Newell finally con- 
fessed, and the child returned to its mother after an absence of six 
years. Newell was an adventurer who was temporarily in the 
Boon neighborhood. 

The fare on the C. & O. Railway was reduced from five cents 
per mile to 3^ cents on March 1, 1880. 

The receipts from the Hinton post office amounted to $2,197.00 
from March 1, 1879, to the close of 1880, after being established as a 
money order office, which was on the former date. Six years before 
it paid $3.00 a quarter. 

The keeping of the paupers was sold to R. C. Lilly for 1880 
at $446.00. 

Captain William McClandish, the first foreman at the round- 
house, a prominent and gentlemanly citizen and one of the first 
settlers in Hinton after the railroad was built, died in 1880. He 
was the father of the locomotive engineer, Eugene McClandish, the 
largest resident of Hinton at this date, weighing 350 pounds, and 
was a jolly, sensible gentleman, and also the father of Mrs. T. G. 

In Forest Hill District in 1880 there was a population of 1,300, 
132 farms, 247 horses, 25 mules, 1,511 sheep, 757 hogs, 7,048 pounds 
of tobacco. 

In Jumping Branch District, 1,496 inhabitants, 320 horses, 38 
mules, 123 cattle, 1,192 sheep, 1,876 hogs. 

In Pipestem District, 1,307 inhabitants; Talcott, 1,394 inhabi- 
tants; Greenbrier, 2,048. The population of Hinton in 1800 was 

The Democratic Convention was held in Hinton on August 4, 
1880, for the Third Congressional District. The candidates were 
Chas. E. Hogg, now the Dean of the Law School at the University 
of West Virginia; Eustace Gibson, of Huntington, and John E. 


Kenna. The latter was nominated and Captain Gibson nominated 
for Presidential elector. 

The population of the county in 1880 was 9,192. ' 

The county levy for 1880 was $1.00 on the $100.00 valuation. 

F. D. Lee was rector of the Episcopal Church in 1880. 

There was a Hancock and English Club organized at Green Sul- 
phur in September, 1880, by Dr. Samuel Williams, with Captain 
A. A. Miller, president; James H. Aliller, secretary; John K. With- 
row, treasurer, and ^^^ J. Kink, vice-president. Two Hancock and 
English flags were raised, one presented by Hon. C. L. Thompson, 
of Hinton, and the other by the Democratic ladies of Green Sulphur. 
The latter was sent to the breeze on the tallest pole ever hoisted 
in the county. 

Hon. George C Sturgiss, Republican candidate for Governor, 
addressed the citizens at the court house on the 15th of August, 
1880. He is now a member of Congress from the Second West 
Virginia District, elected in 1905. 

Judge Homer A. Holt was re-elected judge of the circuit court 
in 1880 without opposition, the salary then paid being $1,800.00 
per year. 

Henry Still, a prominent and aged farmer of Griffith's Creek, 
attempted to commit suicide by cutting his throat in 1880. 

AMlliam Allen committed suicide by hanging himself by the 
neck near Pack's Ferry on the mountain, by reason of temporary 
insanity, all of the family being absent. 

The C. & O. valuation in 1882 was fixed at $342,625.63. as fol- 
lows : In Green Sulphur District. $104,118.20; Greenbrier, ^129,120, 
and Talcott, $109,380.43. 

The justices elected in 1884 were, for Greenbrier District, L. M. 
Dunn. John Buckland, both Republicans ; for Jumping Branch, T. 
E. Ball and James M. Pack, both Democrats. For Talcott, Charles 
H. Graham, Republican, and M. A. Manning, Democrat; for Green 
Sulphur, M. Gwinn, Democrat, and J. A. Graham. Republican; for 
Pipestem, R. W. Clark and J. C. Peters, Democrats ; for Forest 
Hill, L. G. Lowe, Republican, and L. A. Shanklin, Democrat. For 
constables, Greenbrier, J. H. Hobbs and J..E. Foster, Republicans; 
Jumping Branch, M. Cochran and John W. Harvey, Democrats; 
Talcott, A. P. Wheeler, Republican, and AV. R. Taylor, Democrat; 
Green Sulphur, J. D. K. Foster and Robert Hix, Democrats; Pipe- 
stem, J. H. Dove, Democrat, and Robert A. Wood, Republican; 
Forest Hill. J. M. Anderson and J. W. Allen, Democrats. 


The total vote cast in 1884 was 2,132. The vote on the President 
was as follows : 

Cleveland. Blaine. 

Hinton 261 268 

Talcott 114 87 

Griffith's Creek "23 59 

Green Sulphur 103 54 

Brooks 26 29 

New Richmond 44 100 

Jumping Branch 165 59 

Ellison's 35 38 

Pipestem 104 35 

Salt Works 54 48 

Forest Hill 57 46 

Keatley's 42 48 

Total 1,058 872 

Cleveland's majority, 186. 

In 1896 a new cable was placed across the river at the ferry by 
Captain T. C. Maddy at Talcott. Wilson Wheeler and another 
young man by the name of Wheeler, Henry Hedrick and Pat 
Rollyson were being ferried across the river by T. C. Maddy, using 
the new cable, to which they had not been accustomed. The boat 
was permitted to get square across the current, and was capsized 
and turned over, and each of the party thrown overboard. The 
river was high, and the two Wheelers were drowned. Their bodies 
were afterwards recovered down at Bacon's Hill, two miles below. 
The other parties were finally rescued, but had a narrow escape 
from death. 



It is wonderfvil to conceive and reflect upon the changes made 
within a developing country within the span of one ordinary hu- 
man life, or even within the life of this municipality, now thirty- 
six years of age. A retrospective glance over so short a period 
will astonish and interest, as well as instruct us, when we have 
not given the matter special consideration. The female members 
of almost every household were taught to sew, spin, knit, and many 
to weave clothing from wool, hemp, flax or cotton, and others even 
working in the fields. Shoemaker- shops were in every section; 
every well-regulated farm had its loom-house, the barn and crib. 
The bed-clothing was made at home. They dyed their own woolen 
goods; jeans was woven for the men; the farmer raised his own 
hogs and cured his own bacon. All of this section made its own 
beef, poultry, butter and cheese ; raised its own fruit, milk and 
honey and vegetables. Green groceries were never thought of 
being bought ; they never sold their fruit and vegetables to their 
neighbors, but divided them with those who had not a supply of 
their own. Every fall the farmer would send his team to the salt 
works. No such thing as fertilizer was known. In the fall the 
winter's wood was secured ; a supply of apples, dried fruits, cider, 
apple butter and honey were secured for the winter months. They 
made their own soap from the kitchen greases. They made their 
own hominy from the whole grain steeped in alkali. They made 
cracked hominy with the mortar and pestle. They raised their 
own hemp, spun their own twine and made their own ropes. They 
raised their own sheep, from which they took the wool, carded the 
same, wove it, and dyed it with such colors as they saw proper 
from their own dyes. Tomatoes were a rarity, and known as "love 
apples," and were chiefly grown as curiosities. Canned fruit, 
canned and preserved meats and fish were unknown ; neither were 
the substitutes for butter, the cow still having a monopoly. Horse- 
shoes and horse-shoe nails were made at the shop. Patent plows. 

Cor. Temple Sti-eet and Third Avenue. 





as well as steam, were unheard of. Patent mowers, reapers, thresh- 
ers, planters, corn-shellers, and many other farming implements, 
were unheard of. Travel throughout these regions was by horse- 
back or by stage. There were no railroads, and no telephones; 
modern buggies, bicycles, automobiles, or modern carriages and 
buggies, were things unknown. There were no illustrated daily 
papers, and no other kind of daily papers in this region ; neither 
were there weeklies. Percussion cap guns, as well as the flint-lock, 
were still in use ; breech-loaders, Catlings and the modern revolver 
were things of the imagination. The shot-pouch was made from 
the skin of some small animal; bullet moulds, powder horns, 
leather belt and butcher knife, were still in use as small arms. 
Lard oil was not known. No diamond drills were heard of. Geol- 
ogy and chemistry have made fast progress. They were unheard 
of in the curriculum of those who secured any part of an educa- 
tion. Grammars were not in use in the schools ; neither were al- 
gebra, geometry or scientific mathematics. The steam engines were 
still fired with wood. There was no pulp or paper twine, paper 
bags, paper collars, paper car-wheels, wall-paper, and very little 
paper of any character. The first paper mill erected west of the 
Alleghenies and south of Mason and Dixon's Line was located in 
"Possum Hollow," in the New River Valley of Virginia. There 
were no circular saws, no steam-made brick, no wire fencing, no 
gimlet-pointed screws or coal-digging machines. There were no 
postage stamps, postal cards, money orders or envelopes, and blot- 
ting paper was unheard of. The letters fifty years ago were folded, 
tucked in and stuck fast with sealing-wax. Ink was dried with 
ashes or sand. Writing was done with the goose-quill pen. Gold 
pens were unheard of in this then new country. There were no 
fountain pens, no indelible pencils, no typewriters. Postage was 
twenty-five cents for a common letter, paid by the receiver. Gen- 
tlemen who smoked carried sun-glasses in their vest pockets, by 
which they concentrated the light from the sun. thereby firing their 
smoking machines. When there was no sun, they used the (lint 
and steel; a jack-knife and gun flint and a piece of punk, which 
was rotten wood, dried. Sanitation was unheard of. 'i'ho H.i^ht in 
the household by night was produced by the home-made tallow- 
dips, with candlesticks and snufifers. Gas lights were unheard of, 
the first used even in New York for lighting purposes being in 
1827. Cook stoves and ice machines were unknown. Patent churns 
and washing-machines were undreamed of. No beet sugar or 
sorghum molasses. Wood was the entire fuel. Iron was melted 


with charcoal ; coke was unheard of. The taste of lager beer was 
unknown ; wooden shoemaker's pegs, even, were a novelty. Great 
changes have been made in the dress of both ladies and gentle- 
men, and especially as to the former. Pantaloons were then made 
with a square flap in front, instead of the up-and-down seam. Pins 
and needles were a rarity. 

All has changed from the crudity of fifty years ago in this then 
isolated but happy region within the mountains. 

The first election of a legislative body on the American conti- 
nent was held in Virginia in 1619, which was the election of the 
House of Burgesses, the lower House of the Assembly. The offi<:e 
of justice of the peace was created in 1661. 

In 1810 the marshal who took the census, which was 203 years 
after the Jamestown settlement, reported that, with few exceptions, 
every household employed a weaving loom, and almost without ex- 
ception every family tanned its own leather. The materials for 
clothing were raised and manufactured by the inhabitants. The 
quantity was estimated to be twenty-six yards for each person. 
The weaving was done by the females, there being about three fe- 
male weavers for every loom. The establishment of stills was an 
invention of those days. They manufactured fifty or sixty gallons 
of whisky a day, and sold it for fifty cents a gallon. Barter was a 
common method of trading, the merchant taking everything he 
could find a market for in trade. 


There have been five land assessments for the county, usually 
these assessments being made each ten years, but not always, this 
being regulated by statute. Honorable S. W. Willy, the present 
postmaster of the city of Hinton, being the first, and made his re- 
assessment in the year 1875. The total valuation at that time, as 
made by him, was increased by $94,338.76. It was at that time all 
made as farm land, there being then no town lots within the borders 
of the county. 

The second reassessment of real estate of the county was made 
by James M. Allen, a son of Nathaniel Allen, in the year 1880, 
and the total valuation, as made by him at that date, was $817,240. 

The third reassessment was made in the year 1890, by Charles 
L. Peck, and the total valuation, as made by him, was $846,395. 


The fourth reassessment was made by B. L. Kessler, in the year 
1900, and the total valuation, as made by him, was $1,225,190. 

The fifth and last reassessment was made in the year 1905, by 
Jonathan Lee Barker, with James B. Lavender as his assistant, 
and the total valuation, as made by them, was $2,329,545. This 
assessment was made under the new tax system provided by 
the Act of the Legislature at the session of 1905, known as the 
"Dawson Reform Tax Laws," named after the present Governor, 
Hon. Wm. O. Dawson, who is given the credit of being the father 
of the present tax system of this State. Great opposition has de- 
veloped to the new system, and it remains yet to be seen whether 
or not it operates satisfactory for the purpose intended — that is, 
to create a uniform system of taxation, and provide for the equal 
distribution of the burdens thereof by all persons. By this sys- 
tem all property is required to be assessed at its true and actual 
value. Numerous amendments have been made already to organ- 
ize tax reform legislation. The large and powerful corporations, 
and especially those interested in coal lands and leases, are gen- 
erally opposed to the new system. In the campaign of 1904 a very 
vigorous fight was made against Governor Dawson, in his race 
for Governor, by reason of his strong advocacy of this new tax 
law. He ran largely behind his ticket in this State, something 
like 20,000 short of the vote cast for President Roosevelt. 

The valuation in 1871, at the formation of the county, was 
$527,989.40, and remained at that until the reassessment by Mr. 
Willy, in 1875. 



The only war from which this territory has in any way been 
directly affected, or participated in, was that of the Civil War, 
from '61 to '65. It was not the scene of any great conflicts. It 
was inaccessible, there being no great highways or railroads 
through its confines ; but, by reason of its inaccessibility and 
broken character, it was the joy of the bushwhacker, home guards 
and guerrillas. 

The two Thurmond companies were the principal Confederate 
retainers, those of Captain William Thurmond and Captain Phil. 
Thurmond, both residents of Fayette County, and who "had 
organized, at the breaking out of the war, these companies. A 
number of the citizens of this county were members of these or- 
ganizations, known as Thurmonds' Rangers. 

Lorenzo D. Garten was the captain of a company of Federal 
retainers, known better as "Home Guards." They were never rec- 
ognized as Union troops, but were what was known as State 
troops. Thurmonds' companies were regularly attached to the 
regular armies of the Confederacy. There were no battles of any 
consequence fought in this county. Floyd's army of Confederates 
passed through Green Sulphur District in 1863, camping at Green 
Sulphur Springs. General Hayes' Brigade also passed through the 
county, passing down New River, out the Red Sulphur and Kana- 
wha turnpike, through Jumping Branch to Raleigh Court House ; 
with which Major William McKinley, afterwards President of the 
United States, was attached, both he and General Hayes succeed- 
ing to this high office. 

William Woodrum was killed in the fall of 1864, at the east 
end of the Big Ben Tunnel. He was not at that time a member 
of any army, as we are informed. 

A part of Thurmond's company had been detailed to cut off 
and capture a party of Union sympathizers under Captain L. D. 
Garten, who had returned from Ohio to organize and carry some 


Union sympathizers through the hues. Thurmond's company hav- 
ing been informed of the intention of Captain Garten and his pro- 
ceedings, supposedly, and his brother Henderson Garten, who was 
d member of Thurmond's company, a portion of both Phil, and 
William Thurmond's companies, of about seventy-five men, were 
detailed to intercept Captain Garten's proceedings. They proceeded 
to the mouth of Hungart's Creek, Garten's people having no in- 
formation of their presence, and prepared an ambuscade in the 
darkness. Garten and ten men, being Elias WHieeler, Ewell Garten, 
Goodall Garten, Lewis Meadows, Jackson Grimmett, Clark Grim- 
mett, Alexander Meadows, Hugh Boone, and, possibly, Davis 
Bragg, under the command of Captain Garten, proceeded down 
Hungart's Creek, and, before they knew of the proximity of the 
rebels, were almost stirrounded. 

William Woodrum, who was a brother of Major Richard Wood- 
rum, of Wolf Creek, having joined Thurmond's men en route, got 
into the melee, and in close quarters with Captain Garten, at which 
time firing commenced, and Mr. ^^'oo(lrum was killed, having died 
in his tracks. Garten's men were scattered, but all made their 

Later on, the same fall. Captain Garten and a small party of 
his followers were undertaking to pass down Laurel Creek and 
cross New River at Richmond Falls, thence to pass out through 
Raleigh, down the Kanawha and into the Ohio. On arriving at 
Samuel Richmond's, where the boys were shucking corn, they were 
attacked by a party of Witcher's Cavalry, who had gone out with 
Thurmond's men on a scout, Thurmonds' companies being infantry 
soldiei s. No one was killed or wounded. The Confederate cav- 
alry was compelled to swim its horses across New River, using 
canoes and swimming the horses at Richmond's Falls. Thur- 
mond's men proceeded on this raid along as far as Weston, in 
Lewis County, in what was known as the "Weston raid." 

In the fall of 1864, Thurmond's men were coming down Green- 
brier River, some in a large canoe and some on the l)anks, with 
the view to coming to the mouth of Greenbrier and going up New 
River. They were attacked by Captain Garten's company, near 
a large rock just below Rowley's Creek. No one, however, was 
wounded or killed, but both companies took to their heels and 
ran off. Joseph Hmton, president of the county court at this time. 
was in this skirmish, as also was Squire Bob Saunders, of Forest 
Hill. These are the only two names we have been able to ascer- 


Henderson Garten, a brother of L. D. Garten, before men- 
tioned, was sent out with Asbury Tincher, by Capt. Phil. Thur- 
mond, to bring him recruits and delinquents who had failed to 
perform army services. They proceeded to arrest Henry Martin, 
son of Nick Martin, and were proceeding towards camp with him, 
but never arrived. When on Keeney's Knob, near Stone Lick 
Knob, Martin was killed, and it was claimed that other outrages 
were perpetrated on his person. The war closing soon afterwards, 
Garten and Tincher were arrested and tried at Union for the mur- 
der of young jMartin, who was a boy of age for military services. 
Garten was tried, convicted and sentenced to confinement in the 
penitentiary for sixteen years. He served some nine or ten years, 
was then pardoned, and lived on the mountain near Hinton until 
about ten years ago. when he sold out his farm to Jack Notting- 
ham, and with all of his family removed to Missouri, where he is 
still residing, so far as we are informed. 

While in the penitentiary Mr. Garten learned the trade of gun- 
smith, and became celebrated throughout this region for the fine 
rifle guns which he manufactured at his shop. Nick Martin secured 
a continuance of his case, and was finally acquitted. 

After the war the Home Guards were disbanded in 1865. For 
some time, immediately after the surrender of the Southern ar- 
mies and the close of the war, Captain Garten and his Home 
Guards proceeded throughout the county to gather up what was 
called "Government property." The horses and material which the 
Southern soldiers had brought home from the arm}^ whether 
United States property or not, were taken charge of, turned over 
to the Federal authorities and sold. These soldiers have never 
received any pay for their services. They have made numerous 
attempts to secure pensions from the general Government, but, 
being only what was known as State troops, pensions have, up to 
this time, been refused. Efiforts have been made to secure pay from 
the State government, and it was understood that in 1901 a bill had 
been passed by the Legislature providing for pay; but for some 
reason they have not secured pay. 

Squire John Buckland, who lived on Big Creek, about eight 
miles from Hinton, was the corporal of this company, and kept 
the records. A few years ago, about 1893, it was claimed that 
Squire Buckland had drawn the pay for a number of these soldiers 
and failed to distribute it to the individual members. Upon this 
discovery being made, some of his old comrades instituted an ac- 
tion before a justice of the peace, and the trial came on to be 


heard before L. M. Dunn. The trial lasted the entire day, and 
was held at Hinton. The plaintiff, Wm. H. Cales, was present, 
and had a large number of the company as witnesses; they claim- 
ing that Squire Buckland had gone to the Quartermaster Gener- 
al's, drawn their pay, signed their names and kept the money. 
Squire Buckland, of course, was present with his retainers, claim- 
ing that he had fully disbursed all of the money and producing re- 
ceipts, most of the receipts being signed by mark, he claiming 
that the soldiers were not educated sufficiently to sign their names. 
These receipts were repudiated. Judgment was given in favor of 
the plaintiff, which included many years' interest, the claims being 
ordinarily barred by the statute of limitations. Squire Buckland 
took an appeal to the circuit court, where judgment was rendered 
in his favor. Judge Campbell deciding that the plaintiffs had slept 
on their rights. 

Hon. Wm. R. Thompson represented the plaintiff' in this liti- 
gation, and Jas. H. Miller and Colonel J. W. Davis defended Squire 
Buckland. The trial continued after dark. The plaintiffs' retain- 
ers, of which there were a large number, hitched their horses in 
the alley back of where the Hinton Department Company store i'S 
now located, between Second and Third avenues. When they 
went to get on their horses that night to ride home, they found 
their saddles were all cut to pieces, as well as the bridles, and some 
of them carried off and scattered to the four winds of the heavens. 

Squire Buckland in this trial produced his records, showing his 
accounts as disbursing officer, which he claimed was a distribution 
of the proceeds of each raid made by the company. When they 
would make a raid and gather in some property, they would then 
. meet and distribute the same. One man would get a dun horse ; 
another would get bed clothes; another saddle blankets and sad- 
dles ; and so on, according to his book of distribution. 

W. G. Ryan, the first elected prosecuting attorney of this coun- 
ty, was the captain of a Confederate company of brave soldiers, 
who fought throughout the war, being a part of Vir- 
ginia regiment. A. A. Miller was not in the army, being over the 
army age provided for military services, but was a captain of the 
militia before the war, as was also Captain Robert Sanders. 

There were but two voters in favor of secession, who voted for 
that ordinance on Tick Creek, when voted on by the State of Vir- 
ginia, in what is now Green Sulphur District. They were John 
Richmond ("Sprightly John"), who lived on Hump Mountain, and 
Jefferson Bennett. John Richmond, with pride, said "he was the 


first man in Virginia who favored 'succeedin' ' outen the Union." 
This shows the ahiiost unanimous sentiment and love for the f^ag 
in those days of bitterness and strife in the county, although it 
provided many of the bravest soldiers who ever fought in the his- 
tory of the world. After secession was determined upon, they 
were true and loyal to their commonwealth, as was Lee, and as 
Charles Francis Adams, of Massachusetts, said he would have done 
in a similar situation, in his speech at the one hundredth anniversary 
of that great soldier's birth, delivered at Lexington, in 1906. Though 
opposed to the secession of the South, they were loyal to their 
State, and their o-lorv is none the less because thev were so. And 
they are just as loyal to that Union to-day as those who took the 
opposite position and remained loyal throughout. Each had the 
right to hold and stand for his opinion. 

The war times for four years were distressing to the people. 
The men were in the army, and the women and children had to 
raise the crops and provide raiment and maintenance, being in per- 
petual fear of the scouts, bushwhackers and guerrillas, more than 
the regular armies. They manufactured all their clothing from 
wool and flax ; carried salt on horseback from Mercer Salt Works ; 
wove wearing apparel from flax ; wore "tow" suits and dresses 
woven and spun on the old-fashioned wheel and loom ; manufac- 
tured all their sugar, and hid their grain, cattle, horses and house- 
hold goods in the mountains, to prevent their being carried away. 
The women and children made, with their own hands, their support 
for four years, and aided for years after in the labor of recupera- 
tion, living in constant and incessant fear during all this period. 

Up to the beginning of the war there was an organized militia 
in each county, and they mustered and practiced soldiery once a ■ 
month, meeting at a public place in the neighborhood. 

There was a company of scouts or guerrillas connected with the 
Federal Army during the war, known as Blazer's Company, which 
made frequent incursions into the lower end of this county during 
the Civil War. A man by the name of Blazer, from Gallipolis, 
Ohio, was the captain. This company was the terror of the Lick 
Creek region of country, and Captain Blazer was a cruel, relentless 
soldier, not disposed to ameliorate the necessary hardships always 
incident to war. On one of these raids into the Lick Creek coun- 
try, his men surrounded the house of William Holcomb, who lived 
just below Hutchinson's Mill, in the property afterwards acquired 
by the late Dr. N. W. Noel. Holcomb belonged to the Confederate 
Army, and had come home the evening before on a furlough, to 


visit his family. He was arrested in bed and taken from his house, 
in the presence of his family, and was shot in the neck by orders 
of the commander, -and without provocation, except that he was a 
Confederate soldier. " The first shot not killing him, he was taken 
a few hundred yards down the road to the dwelling house of Zech- 
ariah Wood, and there shot in the back and killed, no pleadings 
or supplications of his helpless wife making any impression on the 
raiders and merciless men. Mr. Holcomb's widow survived him, 
and resided in that country for many years after the war. She 
was a Hix, a well-known family of that community— daughter of 
Wm. Hix. 

Blazer's company, on another raid into the Mill Creek neighbor- 
hood of Green Sulphur District, met a squad of Thurmorid's men 
on the creek, who were temporarily encamped at the residence of 
the Widow Crotty, at the Long Bridge, about a mile below Hutch- 
inson's Mill, when a skirmish ensued. Neither party expected the 
other; neither party whipping the other. Green Rodes, a member 
of Captain Wm. Thurmond's company, was dangerously wounded ; 
M. Gwinn had his belt shot in twain at the waist ; but no one was 
killed. Blazer and his men escaped. 

It was reported that one "Yankee" was killed at the bridge, 
and for years it was understood that that place was "haunted," 
and boys, as well as grown people, were fearful to go along that 
road after night. J. Houston Miller, a son of Captain A. A. Mil- 
ler, now residing in Texas, being of a venturesome disposition, 
accepted a wager that he would not remain at that bridge the whole 
of one night on account of ghosts, which were reported to frequent 
this spot. Miller accepted the wager, went to the bridge, and re- 
mained there from dark to daylight in order to show his pluck, 
which required a good deal of stamina for a boy of his size and 
age to remain, as a lone sentinel in a pine forest and on a lonely 
road, through the entire dark hours of a dark night, when ghosts 
were holding nightly, as well as knightly, revels. J. Houston Mil- 
ler is now president of the Watahachie National Bank, of Texas. 

Another raid was made by Blazer into the Lick Creek country, 
going as far up the main creek as Wm. E. Miller's house, from 
which they carried all the sugar, flour, meal, bacon and substance 
the family had accumulated for subsistence, and shot at a boy. 
Jehu McNeer, a son of James McNeer, deceased, who was on a 
ridge in the woods, but missed him. They carried all the plunder 
they could find along the creek to Gwinn's storehouse, at Green 
Sulphur, where they heard Thurmond's Rangers were after them. 


whereupon they unloaded themselves of their plunder and "ske- 
daddled'' out of the country, and the people thus regained their 


One of the interesting reminiscences and true accounts of valor 
and heroism is related by the old comrades of Allen Woodrum, 
who was killed at Cold Harbor, in 1864. He was a member of 
Edgar's Battalion, and some account of his death is related in 
other pages. He was a member of Company D and its color- 
bearer. He was born and raised on Wolf Creek, then Monroe, but 
now Summers. Colonel George M. Edgar, the gallant commander 
of the famous Edgar's Battalion, relates that on the morning of the 
2d of June, 1864, at the second Battle of Cold Harbor, that part of 
Lee's line held by this line was desperately charged by the Fed- 
eral Army. The carnage was dradful. The Battle of the Wilder- 
ness had just preceded, and those awful days were telling upon the 
Army of Northern Virginia. The soldiers on both sides were as 
dauntless and devoted as the armies which followed Napoleon at 
Austerlitz, Wagram and Lodi. The Confederate lines had been 
thinned, and it was not possible for Edgar to concentrate upon the 
charging Federals a fire sufficiently strong to repulse them before 
they reached the breastworks. The Federals struck the intrench- 
ments, and the conflict became a hand-to-hand affair. The Feder- 
als swept over and seemed to engulf the few defenders, and a num- 
ber of Confederates were faken prisoners, among them Colonel 
Edgar himself, who had received a bayonet wound in the shoul- 
der; but before this, as related by him, he saw Allen Woodrum 
fighting desperately with the Federals on the breastworks above 
•him, thrusting at them with the sharp lance point of the staff of 
his flag. In a few moments, just as the Federal line surged over 
the Confederates' defense, Woodrum was pierced by several bul- 
lets, having thrust, however, as he fell, the point of his flag-staflf 
clean through the body of one of his assailants, thus giving him 
a mortal blow. Woodrum, as he fell, tore from the staff his battle- 
flag, and attempted to thrust it beneath his clothing, out of sight; 
then falling, in death he lay upon it, interposing his body between 
it and his enemies. In a few moments a counter-charge of the 
Confederates repulsed the Federals, driving them back with heavy 
slaughter to their own lines, and recapturing most of the Confed- 
erates who had a few moments before been taken prisoners, among 
those recaptured being Colonel Edgar himself. Later Allen Wood- 


rum was found lying in the intrenchments dead, but even in death 
still protecting his flag, which was hidden beneath him. Faithful 
was he until death — a modest, big-hearted country boy, who lived 
and died a hero. General Gordon was deeply moved by this inci- 

This is the account as given by Colonel Edgar; but the Feder- 
als claimed to have secured the flag from Woodrum after he fell, 
and to have preserved it among their trophies. 

Allen Woodrum was a brother of the late W. C. Woodrum, of 
Forest Hill ; of Phil. Woodrum, now living at Foss, and of Richard 
M. Woodrum, the merchant at Wiggins. 

W. C. Woodrum was also a brave soldier, serving in Company 
T, under Captain Morton, Edgar's Battalion. He was also a 
nephew of Major Richard Woodrum and a cousin of Charles L. 
Woodrum, the enterprising engineer, farmer and school teacher of 
Wolf Creek; and John Woodrum, the other son of Major Wood- 
rum — a soldier of the Spanish-American War — now resides in Avis. 

Another incident of the heroism of a son of Summers County 
in that war is told of Peter M. Skaggs, now a shoemaker of Hinton, 
and who lived for many years in the upper end of Forest Hill Dis- 
trict. Skaggs, in an attack upon the Union forces, became so en- 
thusiastic that he abandoned his command, rushing on in front 
some ten paces. Reaching the guns of the Federals, he mounted 
on top of a cannon, placed himself astride of the same, and hallowed 
to the boys to come on ; that he had his gun and intended to 
hold it. 

Another incident of the heroism of another son of Summers 
was that of Captain Robert Gore, who alone captured one hundred 
Federal soldiers on the field of Gettysburg, which is recited in an- 
other section of this book, and the story is authentic history, and 
was detailed to the writer by Mr. William Brown, a most truthful 
and reliable citizen, now living in Pipestem District, who was pres- 
ent in person and saw the daring enterprise successfully carried 
out with his own eyes, and it is from his own lips that the incident 
is recited as authentic history. 

There is one other truthful incident we mention, that of the 
capture by M. M. Warren and his brother, W. W. Warren, of 
Rifife's Crossing and Jumping Branch, of the famous Federal spy, 
near the Greenbrier County line, during the war. These two 
soldiers were mere boys, and had stopped late in the evening to 
stay all night with their aunt. Later this spy called to secure lodg- 
ing with this widow, who was noted for her generosity and kind- 


ness to all people. He claimed to be on a search for laborers to 
work in the saltpeter mines, for the purpose of securing material 
to manufacture powder for the Southern Confederacy. These boys 
pretended that they would like to join him, but when he retired 
to bed that night, they stood guard at the foot of the stairs all 
night. In the morning they pretended to have agreed to go with 
him, and when they had gone some distance, he not being able to 
shake them off, suddenly seemed to arrive at the determination to 
return to the house and secure a large bowie-knife which he 
claimed to have left under his pillow. They proposed to return 
with him against his desires, as he directed that they proceed and 
he would overtake them. This they declined to do, and when they 
had arrived at the yard fence, he suddenly attacked them, and a 
desperate fight ensued. The ground being covered several inches 
with snow, the gun of one of the brothers fell into the snow, and 
the other brother could not shoot, as the spy kept one of the broth- 
ers at all times between him and the other. Finally, by sticking 
the muzzle of the gun into his face, he was subdued, thrown to the 
ground, and his hands tied behind him. No bowie-knife was to be 
discovered, and it was only a ruse to escape. They carried him 
before their commander, on Monroe draft, where he was ques- 
tioned and finally sent on to Richmond, but before his arrival he 
jumped from the train and made his escape, and he was never re- 

Lack of space prevents the detailing of many other interesting 
incidents of this character on our soil. The incidents detailed are 
only a few of the many recited to the writer by brave soldiers of 
both armies from this region, whose tales of war are more inter- 
esting than those of which we read concerning the great battles 
of the greatest warriors of Europe. 


The territory of Summers County, though sparsely populated 
in 1861, furnished a number of the brave soldiers who fought in 
the Confederate ranks, and a number also who fought for the main- 
tenance of the Union. These Confederate soldiers from this re- 
gion were generally violently opposed to the secession of the 
States; were usually Democrats of the old school, that held to the 
ideals of a self-balanced and self-governed State, where every man 
stands erect in the fullness of his rights and in the pride of his 
manhood, neither cringing nor overbearing, owing no allegiance 


but to duty, claiming none but from the heart, fulfilling every ser- 
vice, and exercising every right of a citizen ; a government founded 
not on the traditions of remote ages, nor of usurpations, nor of 
conquests, but on things older and firmer than all — the equality 
and brotherhood of man. The lists I am able to give are not per- 
fect, but are as tiear so as I am able to make them more than forty 
years after the termination of that great war. No soldier of the 
South from the territory of Summers County ever went to jail for 

Confederate soldiers in Talcott District : 

W. W. Jones, Co. B, 26th Virginia, Battalion, Edgars. 
John B. Thompson, Co. H, 26th Virginia, Battalion, Edgars. 
T. C. Maddy, Co. F, 26th Virginia, Battalion, Edgars. 

C. R. Crawford, Co. F, 26th Virginia, Battalion, Edgars. 
T. J. Holstine, Co. F, 26th Virginia, Battalion, Edgars. 
Wilk Meadows, Co. F, 26th Virginia, Battalion, Edgars. 
Calvin Meadows, Co. F, 26th Virginia, Battalion, Edgars. 
Mason Altair, Co. B, 26th Virginia, Battalion, Edgars. 

A. P. Lowry, Co. B, 26th Virginia, Battalion, near the close of 
the war. 

E. D. Alderson, Co. Lowry 's Battery. 

W. C. Hedrick, Co. Lowry's Battery. 

A. P. Pence, Co. Lowry's Battery. 

John C. Alann, Co. Chapman's Battery. 

James Kirby, Co. Chapman's Battery. 

John Coiner, Co. Chapman's Battery. 

A. J. Wallace, connected with no company; on detailed service. 

J. C. Burnes, Co.'C, 17th Virginia Cavalry. 

H. J. Davis, Co. G, 23d Virginia Battalion. 

James Cooper, Co. H, 60th Virginia Regiment. 

A. C. Kesler, Thurmond's Company. 

J. B. Hedrick, Thurmond's Company. 

Wallace Keller, Thurmond's Company. 

George Keller, Thurmond's Company. 

Lewis B. Meadows, Thurmond's Company. 

M. M. Warren, Thurmond's Company. 

Joseph Huffman, Thurmond's Company, and afterwards cap- 
tain of his company. 

D. D. Rhodes, Thurmond's Company. 


E. P. Huston, Co. A, 62d Virginia Regiment. 

Wm G. McCorkle, Co. A, 22d Virginia Regiment. 

David Washington, Co. D, 51st Virginia Regiment. 

A. J. Blake, Co. A, Virginia (McCausland's) Regiment. 

J. A. Houchins, Co. I, 50th A^irginia Regiment. 

Thomas Shoemaker, Co. G, 17th Virginia Cavalry (Jenkins'). 

David W. Leftwich, Vawter's Co., Clark's Battalion. 

Conrad B. Pack, Co. A, 60th Virginia Regiment; now dead; 
died in Kansas. 

Samuel D. Pack, Co. H, 27th Virginia Cavalry; died in Kansas. 

John A. Pack, Co. H, 27th Virginia Cavalry; lives in Oklahoma. 

Allen C. Pack, Co. A, 60th Virginia ; lives now in Kansas. 

These Packs were sons of Anderson Pack, and born and raised 
on New River. Their grandfather was Captain Tvlat. Farley, a 
scout in General George Washington's Army. 

Confederate soldier's of Jumping Branch District: 

J. E. C. L. Hatcher, 23d Va. Cav., Breckingbridge's Div. 

Jack Vest, 23d Va. Cav., Breckingbridge's Div. 

Josiah Lilly, 23d Va. Cav., Breckingbridge's Div. 

John W. Moye, 23d Va. Cav., Breckingbridge's Div. 

Mathew Adkins, 23d Va. Cav., Breckingbridge's Div. 

R. W. Lilly, Sr., 23d Va. Cav., Breckingbridge's Div. 

Joshua Harve}^ Capt. George, Gen. McCausland's Div. 

Wm. Basham, Capt. George, Gen. McCausland's Div. 

Isaac Mann, Capt. George, Gen. McCausland's Div. 

Austin Harvey, Capt. George, Gen. McCausland's Div. 

J. Calvin Harvey, Capt. George, Gen. McCausland's Div. 

Ab. Birchfield. Thurmond's Rangers. 

John Hinton, Sr., Thurmond's Rangers. 

John W^ayne Hinton, Thurmond's Rangers. 

Wm. Hinton, Jr., Thurmond's Rangers. 

Capt. White G. Ryan, James W. Pack, AVm. Hinton, Wm. Lilly 
("One-arm Bill"), Joseph Lilly, Mathew A. Hedrick, M. A. W. 
Young, Allen H. Meador, Geo. W. Plumley, Simeon Lilly, Louis 
Lilly, Andy Lewis Lilly, Granville C. Lowe, Thomas E. Ball, Levi 
M. Neely, Sr., Wm. T. Meador, J. J. Charlton. 

White G. Ryan, Captain of Co. I, 60th Virginia. 

Thos. E. Ball, wounded. 


Confederate soldiers of Pipestem District : 

E. V. Neely, Co. I, Smith's Br., 60th Va. Inft., Harton's Div. 

R. Hopkin's, Co. I, Smith's Br., 60th Va. Inft., Harton's Div. 

Joel Farley, Co. I, Smith's Br., 60th Va. Inft., Harton's Div. 

J. R. Farley, Co. I, Smith's Br., 60th Va. Inft., Harton's Div. 

Crawford Wood, Co. I, Smith's Br. 60th Va. Inft., Harton's Div. 

Squire Meador, Co. I, Smith's Br. 60th Va. Inft., Harton's Div. 

Ballard Houchins, Co. I, Smith's Br., 60th Va. Inft., Harton's 

J. J. Vest, Co. I, Smith's Br., 60th Va. Inft, Harton's Div. 

A. P. Farley, Co. I, Smith's Br., 60th Va. Inft., Harton's Div. 

J. W. Ryan, Co. I, Smith's Br., 60th Va. Inft., Harton's Div. 

John Petry, Co. I, Smith's Br., 60th Va. Inft., Harton's Div. 

John Anderson, Co. I, Smith's Br., 60th Va. Inft., Harton's Div. 

A. T. Clark, Co. I, Smith's Br., 60th Va. Inft., Harton's Div. 

James Clark, Co. I, Smith's Br., 60th Va. Inft., Harton's Div. 

W. R. Neely, Co. I, Smith's Br., 60th Va. Inft., Harton'3 Div. 

A. G. P. Farley, Co. B, Echols' Br., 23d Va. Batl. Inft. 

H. C. Farley, Co. B, Echols' Br., 23d Va. Inft. 

M. Cook, Co. B, Echols' Br., 23d Va. Inft. 

J. A. Martin, Co. B, Echols' Br., 23d Va. Inft. 

R. A. Wood, Co. B, Echols' Br., 23d Va. Inft. 

J. A. Williams, Co. H, Smith's Br., 36th Va. Inft., Harton's Div. 

Ben Becket, Co. H, Marshall's Br., 4th Va. Inft. 

Jackson Farley, 17th Va. Cav., McCausland's Br. 

A. J. Williams, 17th Va. Cav., McCausland's Br. 

S. D. Hopkins, 17th Va. Cav., McCausland's Br. 

W. C. Keaton, 17th Va. Cav., McCausland's Br. 

J. D. Anderson, 17th Va. Cav., McCausland's Br. 

Wm. Brown, 17th Va. Cav., McCausland's Br. 

J. F. Wood, 17th Va. Cav., McCausland's Br. 

Jas. Butler, 17th Va. Cav., McCausland's Br. 

J. R. Newkirk, 17th Va. Cav., McCausland's Br. 

S. A. Meador and A. G. Lilly belonged to Jonathan Lilly's Co., 
and John Dore was wagoner. 

Robert Gore, Capt. Co. D, 17th Va. Cav. 

Gordon L. Wilburn was a member of McComas' Battery, from 
Giles County. He was for many years a citizen of Pipestem, and 
now resides at Beckley, in Raleigh County. 


Confederate soldiers of Greenbrier District: 

M. N. Breen, gunner; J. M. Ayres, Wm. M. Cottle, Carl A. 
Fredeking, Joseph Hinton, W. D. Thurmond's Co., Echols' Brig- 
ade; Wm. Hinton, W. D. Thurmond's Co., Echols' Brigade; Thos. 
W. Townsley, C. P. Browning, Samuel Pack (son of Wm.), Evi 
Ballengee, Dr. Wm. L. Barksdale, B. B. BurkS; Lafayette Ballen- 
gee, Wm. Hinton, Sr., Erastus H. Peck, Henderson Garten, Andy 
Bennett, Parker J. Bennett, John F. George, John M. Garden, James 
W. Miller, R. T. Dolin. 

"Jack" Hinton, the founder of the family in this county, was 
before the war a captain of the Monroe Guards, and Eber Willey 
was first lieutenant. 

Thomas Mustain, Co. I, 60th Virginia. 

Wm. Mustain, Co. I, 60th Virginia. 

Confederate soldiers of Green Sulphur District: 

John Cox was one of the brave men who received a saber wound 
in the head in the Battle of the Wilderness; captured and sent on 
to Fort Delaware as a prisoner of war. 

James Walker, Co. B, 60th Va. Regiment, was a corporal of his 
company, and a son of Joel Walker. 

William Duncan, a son of Nathan L. Duncan, Co. B, 60th Va. 
Regiment, died of fever on being brought home from Monroe draft 
l)y his father. 

Marion Fink, son of Joseph Fink, also died of fever, being 
brought home by his father from Monroe draft, Co. B, 60th Va. 

James Sedley Duncan, Co. B, 60th Va., under Captain Baxter, 
fought under Generals Hill and Pemberton ; was guard of General 
R. E. Lee's headquarters on Sewell Mountain and at other points ; 
was shot through the shoulder, and, after lying two months in the 
hospital, started for home. He was wounded at Gaine's Farm, in 
the Seven Days' Fight. It took him thirteen days to reach home 
from Richmond. 

John L. Duncan was in Co. B, 60th Va. Regiment, and later 
with Thurmond's Rangers. 

Nathan A. Duncan was a son of Charles Duncan; first eighteen 
months in Co. B, 60th Va. Regiment, and later first lieutenant in 
Phil. Thurmond's Rangers. 

John Hunter Duncan, son of John Duncan ; Phil. Thurmond's 






Andrew Hix, 60th Va., and later Edgar's Battalion ; badly 
wounded at Battle of Lewisburg. 

Henry Logan Miller, son of Ervin Miller, Co. B, 60th Va. Regi- 
ment, died at Brook Church from fever. 

Sam Henry Fox, Phil. Thurmond's Rangers and 60th Va. 

Perry Fox, Thurmond's Co., died a prisoner of war in Camp 

Joseph Martin, son of Shadrach Martin, in Co. K, 22d Va. Regi- 
ment, was shot at Cedar Creek; bomb exploded, and a piece struck 
him on the left side of the face. He still lives on his farm in Green 
Sulphur District. He was shot on the 19th of October, 1864. 

Daniel L. Keeler, in Dowry's Battery; now lives on Laurel 
Creek, in Green Sulphur District. 

Harrison Gwinn, Co. B, 26th Va. Regiment, Edgar's Battalion. 

Augustus Gwinn, Thurmond's Rangers. 

M. Gwinn, Thurmond's Rangers. 

William E. Miller, James W. Miller, John A. Miller, Thurmond's 

Logan Miller, 26th Va. Regiment. 

Charles R. Fox, Thurmond's Rangers. 

John L. Duncan, Thurmond's Rangers. 

James M. Hix, Thurmond's Rangers. 

James H. Martin, Thurmond's Rang-ers. 

Irvin Bowles, Thurmond's Rangers. 

Andrew A. Foster, Thurmond's Rangers. 

John K. Withrow, Thurmond's Rangers. 

Michael Hix, Thurmond's Rangers. 

Thos. D. Lusher, Thurmond's Rangers. 

John Ellis, Thurmond's Rangers. 

John L. Duncan ("Curly Jim"), Thurmond's Rangers. 

John H. Dunbar, Thurmond's Rangers. 

Samuel Gwinn, Thurmond's Rangers. 

Jas. S. Duncan, 22d Va. Regiment, Col. Patton, commanding. 

Perry Fox, died a prisoner of war in Camp Chase, Ohio. Thomas 
Fox is a son of Perry Fox, and resides on Lick Creek. 

Joseph Martin, 2d Va. Regiment, shot wound. 

J. S. Hite, under General Floyd. 

Thomas A. George and John A. George, Edgar's Battalion. 

Peter Maddy, who died in the army at Union. 

William Patterson died a prisoner of war in Camp Chase. Ohio, 
during the Civil War. Before his death and during his last illness 
in the war prison, he executed his last will within the prison walls. 


The witnesses to that will were George W. Wetsel, another Con- 
federate soldier from Lewisburg, who died a few years ago at Gau- 
ley Bridge, having married a daughter of Colonel Muncie, an old 
sheriff of that county, and Hon. Benj. F. Harlow, the founder and 
veteran editor of the Greenbrier "Independent." This will was, 
after the war, admitted to probate in Greenbrier County and proven 
by these witnesses. William Patterson, by this will, devised his in- 
terest in the lands on the w^aters of Meadow River and Slater's 
Fork of Lick Creek, at the top of Patterson's Mountain. He left a 
family of ver}^ small children, who grew to maturity on this farm. 
A. G. Patterson, wdio still owns the Patterson plantation at the 
foot of this mountain on the !Meadow side, and a very intelligent 
citizen, resides thereon. 

Confederate soldiers of Forest Hill District: 

Lewis A. Ellison, Co. A, 60th \'a. Regiment. 
S. T. Shumate, Co. A, 60th \'a. Regiment. 
W. M. Foster, Co. A, 60th Va. Regiment. 
G. C. Meadows, Co. F, Edgar's Battalion. 
E. H. Michel, Co. F, Edgar's Battalion. 
James M. Allen, Co. F, Edgar's Battalion. 
J. R. Webb, Co. F, Edgar's Battalion. 
Thos. G. Lowe. Co. F, Edgar's Battalion. 
Jos. J. Christian, Co. F, Edgar's Battalion. 
Thos. Frazier, Co. F, Edgar's Battalion. 
Harvey Young, Co. F. Edgar's Battalion. 
M. M. Meadows, Co. C, Edgar's Battalion. 
B. F. Wesley, Co. C, 45th Va. Regiment. 
J. D. Alartin, Co. G, 51st Va. Regiment. 
R. S. Rudd, Mosby's Command. 
Hugh M. Hill. 28th Va.. Pickett's Div. 
Ferdinand Hoback, Co. G, 21st Va. Cavalry. 
Wm. L. Redmond. 17th Va. Cavalry. 
Richard Mowry, 17th Va. Cavalry. 
John Roles, Co. C, 36th Va. Regiment. 
Stephen Davidson, 22d Va. Regiment. 
A. P. Bonham, Co. D, 30th Va. Battalion. 
G. B. Mann, Co. D. 30th Va. BattaHon. 
A. Newton Mann, Co. D, 30th Va. BattaHon. 
A. F. Brown, Thurmond's Rangers. 
Jos. N. Haynes, Thurmond's Rangers. 


Richard McNeer, Lowry's Battery. 

E. C. Woodson, Lowry's Battery. 
. Henry Smith, Lowry's Battery. 

A. M. Hutchinson, Lowry's Battery. 

L G. Garden, Lowry's Battery. 

Richard Woodrum, Major in Edgar's Battalion. 

Elbert Fowler, Va. Gavalry. 

John M. Garden, Lowry's Battery. 

Allen A. Garden, Lowry's Battery. 

Dr. Thomas Bray, who died at Talcott in 1880, was in Go. F, 
59th Va. Regiment, from Mercer Gounty. 

]\L A. Manning, who died at Talcott in 1901, was a soldier 
throughout the war in a company from Nicholas Gounty. 

These lists of the soldiers from Summers Gounty are practically 
correct, of those living; but there is no doubt a number of those 
dead whose names we have not been able to secure. A complete 
list of all soldiers from the territory of the county is now being se- 
cured by Gamp Allen Woodrum, for preservation to posterity. 


A movement for the organization of a camp of Sons of Gonfed- 
erate Veterans was started in October, 1907, in Summers Gounty, 
and is in the hands of G. L. Miller. 

A. D. Smith, Jr., of Fayetteville, is the commandant for his sec- 
tion ; Mr. Miller has the matter in charge. This is a worthy 
movement, and will be taken hold of with enthusiasm by the 
younger generation. 

In 1907 steps are being taken to organize a camp of Gonfeder- 
ate Veterans in Hinton, Summers County, to be named "Gamp 
Allen Woodrum," for that humble but gallant and patriotic sol- 
dier, Allen Woodrum, who so gloriously fought and died for a 
"lost cause." He was a native of our soil, and his memory should 
always be green and his name remembered by future generations 
for his greatness, bravery and heroism. The children of future gen- 
erations should be taught to revere his heroic, honorable though 
humble career. 

This movement was put on foot by that patriotic citizen who 
was a corporal in Thurmond's Rangers, Hon. M. M. Warren. The 
first and preliminary meeting was held at the court house on the 
7th day of October, 1907, on a call published by Mr. Warren in the 


"Independent Herald" newspaper. About fifty of the old veterans 
met and perfected a temporary organization, with Andrew P. Pence 
as chairman. They adjourned to meet again on the 21st of Octo- 
ber, to perfect the camp and elect officers. 


Robert Atkins was a member of Co. G, 2d Regiment, West Vir- 
ginia Cavalry, and was under the command of Captain Joseph 
Ankrum, the chivalrous army officer of Fayetteville. He was shot 
in the right shoulder and his eye put out by the explosion of a 
caisson in a fight at Dinwiddie Court House. Some time after the 
war he undertook to secure a pension, which required him about 
ten years to accomplish. When he did succeed, he drew fifteen 
hundred dollars. 

Eber Willey was a member of Co. G, 2d West Virginia Cav- 
alry, and was present at the battle when Robert Atkins was shot 
and wounded. When the gun fell from Atkins' hands, it was picked 
up by Mr. Willey. 

William Crook was a member of the 9th Va. Infantry. 

Creed Meadows was also a member of Co. G, 2d W. Va. Cav- 

David Harris was a member of Co. G, 2d W. Va. Cavalry. 

Pleasant Lilly, 2d W. Va. Cavalry. 

Thomas F. RatliiT, Co. G, 6th W. Va. Cavalry. 

Isaac Siers was at one time a member of this same company, 
but deserted and joined the rebels. 

William Meadows was a member of the same company; also 
John Lane. 

R. H. Maxwell, 11th W. Va. Infantry, General Crook. 

J. A. Maxwell, 11th W. Va. Infantry, General Crook. 

Green Wadle, 11th W. Va. Infantry, General Crook. 

John Upton, 11th W. Va. Infantry, General Crook. 

James Upton, 11th W. Va. Infantry, General Crook. 

Peter Cales, Co. H, 7th W. Va. Cavalry. 

James Cales, Co. H, 7th W. Va. Cavalry. 

John Rudisill, Co. H, 7th W. Va. Cavalry. 

James Beasley, Co. H, 7th W. Va. Cavalry. 

Alma Willey, Co. F, 91st Ohio Infantry. 

John Dawson, Co. F, 91st Ohio Infantry. 




Co. C, First Brigade, Second Division, Second Army Corps: 

Captain — E. F. Smith. 

First Lieutenant — James R. Dolan. 

First Sergeant — Charles A. Price. 

Quartermaster Sergeant — Charles W. Parr. 

Sergeant — Richard A. Dameron, 

Corporal — Malcohii R. Price. 

Alfred C. Atkins was company cook. William L. Barksdale, 
John Henry Field, Robert M. Ormdorff, Charles F. Heyes, Edward 
G. Dameron, H. B. Campbell. 

Artificer — James Garten. 

Wagoner — William E. Lynch. 

Company Clerk — John B. Gayer. 

Thomas M. Harrington, Samuel B. Bazarea, James W. Burger, 
John H. Caldwell, Marvin H. Chambers, Peter B. DeLung, James 
J. Eary, Geo. Cast, John C. Huddleston, Dexter W. Keadle, Samuel 
W. Meador, Alfred F. Meadows, John S. Meadows, Alfred M. 
Moore, Jas. J. Roach, Samuel Shufif, Jr., Bert T. Snead, Edgar 
Thomas, Luke Tigret, Ras Turner, Garrett G. Wise, Henry D. 

This company was organized at Hinton and mustered into the 
United States service at Camp Atkinson, Charleston, West Vir- 
ginia, June 29, 1898. We give the names of only those men and 
officers who were from this county. Others soldiers from the county 
in other companies and commands were Cyrus C. Hobbs, WilHam 
Fisher, Cleve Prince, Jack Stover, Harrison Lawrence. These were 
in the First Regiment. 


Other soldiers in the Spanish-American War from this county 
were: Chas. B. Armstrong, a son of Riley Armstrong; William 
Fisher, Harry Lawrence. They were all members of the same 
company with Sergeant Hobbs, Company A, First Regiment. 

After the war, when the Southern soldier surrendered and ac- 
cepted the result in good faith, came the times which "tried men's 
souls," the days of "radical carpet bag government," extending 
from the surrender of the Confederate Armies in 1865 to 1870, when 
the carpet bagger's rule was overthrown, and the owners of the 


soil and freemen began to hold up their heads and again see liberty 
and equality before the law. The night hawks and political buz- 
zards who had come forth upon the disfranchisement of the "rebel" 
soldier, the Southern S3^mpathizer, and all who had aided or abetted 
the Southern soldiei, or those in sympath}- with the cause of the 
South, like those beasts of prey who take to the forest during the 
day and prey during the dark hours of the night. This dissolute 
period was during the reconstruction times immediately following 
the war. Much the largest part of the territory of the country 
was in sympathy with the South, but there were numbers of our 
citizens who remained loyal to the Union throughout the war, and 
some of them fought in its armies, and they were of the truest and 
most loyal blood of the land. This condition was not brought 
about by the character of conditions existing. There was another 
set who were pretended loyalists to the Union cause who used their 
loyalty as a shield for marauding and invading the homes and 
property of private citizens and despoiling them. They were gen- 
erally men who had no prominence, influence or property before 
the war. They had not the courage of loyal soldiers who fight in 
honest war and battle, but who skulk, bushwhack, remaining inde- 
pendent of army organizations, and men and women and children 
lived in daily fear of them. 

When the war closed, and after the great soldier and patriot. 
General Grant, had said, "Let us have peace," the affairs were 
placed m the hands of the dissolute and ignorant, bigoted and radi- 
cal. A board of registration for each county was instituted, as well 
as a Board of Supervisors. These grafters' principal purpose was 
to keep themselves in power. Seventy-five per cent, of the people 
being disfranchised and decitizenized ; the courts were not fair, and 
civil liberty was a farce. The proscribed could not bring a law 
suit, collect an honest and undenied debt, serve on a jury, practice 
a profession, teach school- — nothing near fair except the air outside 
of the temple of justice, water, payment of taxes and death. The 
good and conservative men who were lo3^al could not get an appoint- 
ment to office. There were so few who could get office that were 
qualified that it became necessar}^ to give two or three offices to 
one man ; in some instances one man would hold as many as five 
offices. This condition brought to the community swarms of vaga- 
bond lawyers from the North, who had no occupation at home, as 
those lawyers who had Southern sympathies could not practice 
their profession without taking the test oath. A large number of 
these ofifice-holders could not read and write, being ignorant and 


bigoted. Ignorance and bigotry disqualifies any man for a position 
of trust or honor. There were some attorneys yet that could prac- 
tice — Hon. Frank Hereford, Judge Gillespie and James H. McGin- 
nis, who aided in the overthrow of this saturnalia of debauchery, 
which will never exist again, and its like will never be known in 
this land. Its overthrow is due, not to Democrats alone, but to the 
patriotic citizens of both parties. 

Only such as were permitted to vote could hold office, and there 
were so few that could read and write that frequently one man 
held from three to five offices. By reason of the obnoxious regis- 
tration laws growing out of these conditions, when the Constitu- 
tional Convention met in 1870 to enact a new Constitution, a clause 
was inserted providing that no registration laws should ever be 

The lawyer's test oath and the teacher's test oath, the suitor's 
test oath and the voter's test oath all followed. The lawyers of 
the counties in whom the people had confidence, and in whom the 
people were willing to trust their lives, liberty and property and 
honor were not permitted to practice. Col. James W. Davis, of 
Greenbrier, was an exception. He went into the war a radical 
"secesh," and was wounded in battle. He persuaded the Legisla- 
ture that he was not such a dangerous "Confed.." and therefore it 
passed a special act removing his disabilities. 

No one could vote unless he was registered. Registrars were 
selected who would register no one who would not vote to sustain 
the existing conditions, and these corrupt registrars were sustained 
by Judge Harrison. 

A party desiring to win his cause in his court would walk up 
on the bench, slip into his "itching palm" a gold or other coin, and 
that invariably won his case. It has been said that he would sit 
on the bench by the side of a jug of whiskey. 

Joel McPherson was elected clerk in Greenbrier County. He 
was not of the Harrison kelter. The time came for him to qualify. 
There was no question of his election ; it was not contested or con- 
troverted. He was a man of powerful physique, and when Harrison 
refused to permit him to qualify in open court, he walked up behind 
the judge's desk, took him in his arms and started to pitch him out 
of the window, which was twenty or thirty feet from the ground ; 
then the judge consented to permit Mr. McPherson to qualify, and 
he held the office for many years. 

The better and more conservative of the dominant party then in 
power — the Republican party — became disgusted, and fell in with 


their neighbors, and eventually conditions righted themselves. The 
conditions existing in the counties of which Summers was formed 
existed very generally in other counties and sections, where there 
was a strong Confederate sentiment. 

Harrison would get his ill-gotten accumulations together after 
a term of court, go to Washington, or some other city, and dissipate 
it between terms; then return, hold a term of court, and replenish 
his depleted treasury. His wife, who was a most estimable lady, 
abandoned him. Being forced to resign his ofifice ; being loathed 
by all honest and decent people — as much so as the infamous and 
cruel Jeffries — he abandoned his country, emigrated to Denver, 
Colorado, and died several years ago. When seen in Denver a few 
years after he left this country, he presented the appearance of a 
run-down, ragged and abandoned man. Shunned by his fellowrnen, 
he died, disappointed and in poverty, an example to the future. 

An instance of the actions of these registrars may be of interest 
to future generations. When seventy-live per cent, of the people 
were proscribed and disfranchised by this obnoxious amended Con- 
stitution and laws placed on the statute books, and by which honest 
people could not collect their debts, teach school, etc., these laws 
were rigidly enforced for five years, when they were thrown off 
by the liberal and honest people of the land. Republicans and 

This board of registration was appointed by the Governor, con- 
sisting of three members, removable by him when he saw fit. Its 
powers were equal to that of the Spanish Inquisition, says Judge 
David E. Johnson ; they had power to send for persons and papers 
— to say who should vote and who should not. They could erase 
any and all names that he did not consider loyal to the gang and 
vote to perpetuate them in power by a stroke of his pen (that is, 
such of these registrars as could write), or they would place on the 
list such names as he wished, and in this the law protected them, 
too, they being exempt by law from prosecution or by civil suits. 
These registrars reported to the district registrars, and there was 
where the greater shame and outrage was perpetrated. They were 
usually foul birds, the most unclean that could be found. Any man 
who would promise to vote the Republican ticket, or for a selected 
candidate, could get his name retained on the lists as a voter. 

If a party was suspected of not being loyal and voting right, he 
was summoned before this board to prove his loyalty to his party. 
No charges were proven, none preferred, but he must prove his 
innocence — that is, that he was true to the Republican party, and 


Still intended to vote for it. If he did not show up satisfactorily, 
his name was scratched off and he was disfranchised. 

A gentleman of the legal profession, being under suspicion of 
disloyalty, was summoned before the county board of registrars to 
show and prove that he was true to the grand old party. Appearing 
before the board, he inquired what it wanted, and, being told that 
he must prove his loyalty, he thereupon became very indignant, 
using some uncouth language, rash and approbrious epithets to- 
wards the board for their baseness and meanness and ignorance. 
When he had finished his speech, one of the members of the board 
raised his spectacles upon his brow, and, lifting his eyes to heaven, 
said, "Well, sir, I am like the apostle of old. I thank God I am 
what I am," to which the attorney replied, "Yes, and you are thank- 
ful for damned small favors." 

Much credit is everlastingly due to Major James H. McGinnis, 
of Beckley, Hon. Allen T. Caperton, of Union, and Hon. Frank 
Hereford, of the same place, for the services rendered by them to 
this section in protecting the people after the war against these 
piratical policies against human rights and human liberties. 

Mr. Caperton could not practice law, as he was a Confederate, 
but he stood by the old soldiers to the last in their days of trial 
and adversity. When Hon. Marion Gwinn, Wm. E. Miller, J. W. 
Miller, John A. Miller and the men of Lick Creek were all sued 
after the war for trespasses never committed (or, if committed, it 
was before they entered the army), it was Caperton and McGinnis 
who stood by them and saved them from bankruptcy and the poor 

Many suits of this character were brought before Judge Har- 
rison, and many good and honest men despoiled of their property 
and rights under the guise of law. 

Green F. Meador, of Jumping Branch, as well as M. A. W. 
Young, now of Hinton, were members of Company I, 60th Vir- 
ginia Regiment. C. E. Stevenson, of Madam's Creek, was a lieu- 
tenant in this company and Mr. Young a sergeant. John L. Per- 
singer., of Foss, was the driver of cannons and war material, or 
teamster, in Lowry's Battery. Bob Christian was, during the war, 
a citizen of Pipestem District, and was a member of Company I, 
60th Virginia, and was a very brave private in the infantry service. 
He was wounded at the Seven Days' Fight at Richmond, in 1862, 
fought by Lee on one side and McClellan on the other. In a 
charge with the bayonet made by the Confederates he was wounded 


five times by the Federals, and as he fell one way his antagonist 
fell the other, and as he fell an attempt was made by the Union 
soldiers to end him by shooting him, but as the attempt was being 
made the Southerners fired, killing his assailant, and thereby sav- 
ing his life. The bravery of Bob Christian will go down in his- 
tory with that of Mike Foster and Allen AVoodrum. M. A. W. 
Young was a witness, and took part in this famous bayonet charge. 
A gap was made in the Union ranks, by which his company, com- 
manded then by Captain George, passed through, it being an hour 
after dark. The cry was raised, "Who are you?" Captain George 
replied, "Friends," and told them not to shoot. Discovering the 
predicament they were in, they made their escape back through 
the gap before it closed up, by which they would have been sur- 
rounded. M. A. W. Young was wounded three times, once at Cedar 
Creek, at which he was wounded in the arm ; at Lynchburg he re- 
ceived two wounds, losing the little finger from his left hand, and 
receiving a gunshot wound in the thigh ; but he was never captured. 
He was attended by the surgeon, Dr. Noel, of Lick Creek. Bob 
Christian survived the war, and lived in Pipestem District until his 
death several years afterwards from his wounds. He was a brother 
of our countyman, Joseph J. Christian, now living near Indian Mills, 
and A. J. Christian, a citizen of the county, now temporarily lo- 
cated in Raleigh County ; of Eli Christian, and another brother, 
whose name I can not recall, there being five of the brothers in the 
Southern Army. These Christians were descendants of the ancient 
settlers in the Middle New River Valley. 

J. Floyd Young, a brother of M. A. W. Young, was shot di- 
rectly through the head, the ball entering one temple and passing 
out of the other. He is still living to this day near Jumping 
Branch, on the Raleigh side of the county line. He was a member 
of Company A, 17th Virginia Cavalry. 

Company I was first organized and commanded by Captain 
White G. Ryan, and, after his being wounded, by Albert G. P. 
George. Sergeant Young, above referred to, was present at the 
Battle of Cloyd's Mountain, when the brave General Jenkins was 
slain. Ed. Ryan, a son of Captain Ryan, and a brother of Joseph, 
was fighting by the side of Mr. Young, when he was shot in the 
breast and instantly killed. Joseph Ryan, a son of Captain Ryan, 
was a lieutenant in this company, and Erastus C. Stevens was the 
first lieutenant. M. A. W. Young was also in the battles of Cold 
Harbor, Gaines' Mill, Bull Run, or Alanassas ; in the famous Valley 
of Virginia campaigns with Stonewall Jackson, and with Loring 


in the Valley of the Kanawha. He was a Methodist preacher after 
the war for a number of years, and is now a salesman, located in 

About the time' of the close of the war bands of men went 
through the county, gathering up what they called "government 
property." They were nothing more than marauders, and took 
advantage of conditions to invest private property and divest pri- 
vate owners of what little they had left remaining from the depre- 
dations and necessities and conditions of a state of war. One of 
these bands visited the Lick Creek country, and went through the 
Laurel Creek neighborhood, carrying off the horses of A. J. Miller 
and Mr. Foster, who had not been engaged in the war by reason of 
over age. They wore masks or false faces to conceal their iden- 
tity, not only taking the horses, which they claimed belonged to 
the government, but they carried off the clothing, wearing apparel 
and ornaments and jewelry of the ladies, taking off from the house 
of Mr. Alderson everything they could lay their hands on, stuffing 
their pockets full of trinkets, including what eatables they could 
find on the premises. One Hen Atkins wore as many as three 
overcoats, one of which was Mr. Alderson's. After sacking the 
country, they started back to the Big Creek country. In crossing 
the Laurel Creek, Atkins was riding a large horse of A. J. iMiller's. 
The creek had become swollen, and, in making the passage, he 
was stripped off his horse, drowned, and found several days after- 
ward in a rack heap down the creek some distance, with the three 
overcoats on and the pockets filled with jewelry and trinkets which 
he had captured. He was dressed in the wedding suit of broad- 
cloth of Mr. Alderson's, which he had secured as contraband of 
war. Squire Jack Buckland had captured Andrew A. Foster, and 
took him on behind him to ride across the swollen creek. The 
horses washed down and washed Foster and Buckland both into 
the swollen stream. Foster managed to get out down the stream 
some distance, and caught Buckland as he was drowning, and 
saved his life, after which they took pity on Foster and discharged 
him. The captured men included John B. Walker, Alderson, Fos- 
ter and Miller, who were all discharged by reason of the waters 
making it inconvenient to carry them farther. After the raids 
these pretended soldiers would meet and divide up the spoils, 
which were taken in the name of the government and as govern- 
ment property. This is only an instance of the conditions existing 
on this border at the close of the Civil War. Squire Buckland was 
a large land owner and was a justice for eight years. 



Yoke of oxen, $1,000.00; each horse or mule $1,000.00; candles, 
$8.75 per pound; beef, $1.00 a pound; pepper, $3.00 per lb.; axes, 
$12.00 each; salt, per bushel, $35.00; coffee, Rio, $4.00 per lb.; flour, 
$45.00 per bbl. ; pig iron, $350.00 per ton ; lard, $2.75 per lb. ; sole 
leather, $6.00 per lb.; nails, per keg, $100.00; onions, $8.00 per 
bushel ; sweet potatoes, $4.00 ; fresh pork, $2.25 per lb. ; cotton cloth, 
per yard, $1.30; Castile, $8.00 per lb.; shoes, $15.00 per pair; soap, 
$1.00 per lb.; sugar, $3.00 per lb.; tea, $8.00 per lb.; tobacco, $3.00; 
duck, $1.50 per yard; whiskey, $10.00 per gal.; wheat, per bushel, 
$7.50; wool, per lb., $8.00; quinine, $56.00 an ounce; sorghum, 
$3.50 per gal. These prices were undertaken to be enforced by a 
statute passed by the Confederate States in 1864. The hardships 
of the soldiers are beyond belief. The Federals fared better than 
the Confederates because their supplies were better. The Federal 
Government had the outside world to draw from. The Confed- 
eracy had to depend upon home products. The daily rations of the 
Confederate soldier when marching or fighting was a pint of corn- 
meal and one-fourth of a pound of bacon. If camping, in addition 
to this, he would receive a quarter of a pound of sugar, one pint 
of molasses, three-fourths of a pound of black pease, one ounce of 
salt, one-eighth of a pound of soap, and on Christmas Day a charger 
of pine top whiskey, but some days they would start on ten days' 
march with rations which would be used up by the end of the sixth 
day. The general would buy whole fields of corn and let the sol- 
diers help themselves. On many occasions the daily rations would 
be one ear of corn for one man and three for his horse during the 
day. When the Confederate soldier reached his home after the 
war, -he was angry as well as hungry, but he soon banished this 
feeling, and discovered there were victories to be won in peace as 
glorious as any he had participated in as a soldier. 


The Federal troops killed in battle were 67,059; died of wounds, 
43,012; died of disease, 199,720. Other casualties, such as accidents, 
etc., and in the Confederate prisons, 4,015. Total, 349,994; Federals 
deserted, 199,105 ; number of Federal troops captured during the 
war, 412,608; Confederate troops captured during the war, 476,169. 
Number of Federal troops paroled on field, 16,431 ; Confederate, 
248,599; number of Federal troops who died in prison, 30,136; Con- 


federate troops dying in prison, 30,153, a difference of only three 
men in at total of 60,309. Aggregate number of soldiers in Federal 
Army and Navy, 2,656,553; in the Confederate States (estimated), 
700,000. There were mustered out of the Federal service in 1865 
186,000 officers and men. There were 1,882 battles fought, being 
an average of more than one for each day of the war. One-half 
were fought in Virginia. Of this number in 112 battles there were 
more than 500 men killed in each battle. The killed in battle would 
average more than 1,400 men each month of the war, from the 
beginning to the end. The estimated cost of the Civil War to the 
Union and to the South both together, regardless of value of slaves, 
is estimated at $11,000,000,000.00. The Revolutionary War cost 
$135,193,703.00, and the lives of 30,000 American soldiers. The 
War of 1812 cost $107,150,000.00 and 2,000 American lives. The 
Mexican War cost $74,000,000.00 and 2,000 American lives. Indian 
wars and other minor wars cost $1,000,000 and 49,000 American 
lives. The estimates above given in regard to number of soldiers, 
captures, etc., in the Civil War are largely made from estimates. 
There were 292,627 slaves in Virginia and 12,866 free negroes. That 
is, according to the census of 1790. In 1860 there were 490,856 slaves 
in Virginia, freed by President Lincoln's proclamation, and 58,042 
free negroes. 


Be it Enacted by the' Legislature of West Virginia : 

1. That no interest upon any debt contracted or liability in- 
curred prior to the first day of April, eighteen hundred and sixty- 
five, shall hereafter be recoverable in any action or suit in any of 
the following cases : 

I. Where, during the late rebellion, the real owner or holder 
of such debt or liability, while he was such owner or holder, was 
engaged in armed hostility against the United States, or this State, 
for the time he was so engaged. 

II. Where, during said rebellion, such real owner or holder of 
such debt or liability, while he was such owner or holder, in any 
way gave voluntary aid to said rebellion, during the time he was 
so aiding the said rebellion. 

III. Where, during the said rebellion, such real owner or holder 
of such debt or liability, while he was such owner or holder, was a 
voluntary resident within the military lines of the so-called Con- 


federate States of America, beyond the boundaries of this State ; 
during the time of such residence. 

IV. Where, during the said rebellion, such real owner or holder 
of such debt or liability, while he was such owner or holder, was 
in sympathy with the said rebellion, and voluntarily left his home 
and went within the military lines of the so-called Confederate 
States of America; for the time he remained within said lines. 


One of the last, if not the very last, fights of the Rebellion was 
fought on Greenbrier River, seven miles east of Hinton, at what is 
known as the Big Rock. Thurmond's Rangers were coming down 
Greenbrier River in a large canoe made from a big poplar tree ; 
others coming down the road, when a squad of Union men fired 
on them from the bluff above the big road. They shot bullet holes 
through the big canoe and buttons ofif of the coats of the Rebels, 
but no blood was shed ; it was a bloodless fight. Both parties es- 
caped without anybody being killed or wounded. Jackson Grim- 
mett and Rufus Grimmett, John Bucklen and Clark Grimmett and 
others of this county were on the Union side ; Joseph Hinton, 
George Surber and others were on the Rebel side. This battle was 
in the latter part of April, 1865, after Lee's surrender at Appomat- 
tox on the 9th of April, 1865. 

The "Pet Lamb" was a famous spy in the United States service 
during the Civil War. He visited the Flat Top Mountain region, 
and was at Griff Miller's house along with a few Federal soliders. 
Eight of them hid behind a fence, and. Miller went out and ran the 
whole gang off by having his negroes behind his yard fence yelling 
like fury, as though the whole Confederate Army was on hand. 


This man was living in Monroe County before the war. He had 
married into the William Erskine family, which owned the Salt 
Sulphur Springs. He was a brilliant man, and had been prose- 
cuting attorney. Immediately after the close of the war he was 
made judge of Greenbrier, Monroe and Mercer Counties. He ap- 
pointed Benj. White sheriff of Mercer, and George Evans, clerk. 
White had been a violent secessionist at the beginning of the war, 
but at the close changed his principles, if he ever had any. George 
Evans was a Northern man and a U^nion man, and not a degraded 


citizen. Judge Harrison had been a Confederate as late as 1862, 
and had applied for a statf position under General A. A. Chapman. 
He suddenly changed his views for office sake. He was for the side 
that was in the saddle. There was more than one, Judge Harrison 
and Benj. White, affected with an easy character and an easy 
political virtue. They start out with the party in power, but 
desert when adversity comes ; they abandon their friends in ad- 
versity — floppers for office they become — as detestable as those who 
take the oath to support a cause, and desert to the enemy. Their 
characters are detested in all history. There were a good many of 
this kind at the close of the war when fortune had deserted the 
Southern cause. 

Judge Harrison went to Princeton to hold his first court in the 
fall of 1865. He was held in such detestation that not a soul spoke to 
him or asked him to alight from his horse ; therefore he turned round 
about, without alighting, rode back to Concord Church, and held, 
in the old Methodist church at that place, the first term of the court 
for that county held after the war. The ex-Confederates who had 
been elected that fall in each of the counties were by Harrison arbi- 
trarily turned out and refused permission to qualify, and no man 
who would not sAvear he had not aided, abetted or sympathized 
with the Southern cause was permitted to hold any office. This 
extended to school trustees, as well as to any young lady who de- 
sired to teach free school. 

This judge was a ^^ery corrupt and venal man, and, of course, 
the political lease of his official life was numbered. No free people, 
regardless of political dififerences, will long permit themselves to be 
ruled by corrupt or venal officials. Articles of impeachment were 
preferred against this corrupt judge in 1866 by a Republican Legis- 
lature, of which party he was then an adherent, and thereby he 
was forced to resign. 

He was arbitrary and corrupt, as well as dissipated. A great 
many ex-Confederate soldiers were sued in his court for acts done 
during the war. The defendants could not defend before him be- 
cause they could not take the oath. The juries were selected of 
the same character as the court. Many could not read or write, 
and had never been at a court house before. The judgments neces- 
sarily went in large amounts against the defendants, and the only 
result was utter bankruptcy. A number of these old judgments 
still stand uncollected, as things were changed by reason of an 
amendment to the Constitution introduced by Hon. W. H. H. Flick, 
a liberal man and lawyer from Martinsburg, Berkeley County. The 


judgments stand as monuments to the ignorance and fallacy of 
people gone mad with greed, political folly and power thrust on 
them, without the intelligence, education or intellect to use that 
power with justice, sense or principle. (See Second West Virginia 
Reports, page 496, Lewis Ballard v. Christopher Lively, as an ex- 
ample. This judgment was for $2,779.70.) 

This vicious situation was to be voted on for perpetuation by the 
people by reason of the joint resolution passed by the two houses 
of the Legislature, submitting the amendment to the Constitution 
in 1866, which would have had the effect of decitizenizing all ex- 
Confederates or their sympathizers. No one was permitted to vote 
except those who would take the infamous "test oath," which pro- 
vided that — 

"No person who, since the first day of June, 1861, has 
given or shall give voluntary aid or assistance to the rebel- 
lion against the United States, shall be a citizen of this 
State, or be allowed to vote at any election held therein, 
Unless he has volunteered in the military or naval service 
of the L^nited States, and has been or shall be honorably 
discharged therefrom." 

Thus the Legislature of West Virginia intentionally and plainly 
subverted the Constitution of the State, and openly violated the 
Constitution and the oaths of those who perpetrated the act. It 
was an open perversion of the Constitution in this. The Constitu- 
tion then provided, "That white male citizens of the State shall be 
entitled to vote at all elections held within the election districts in 
which they respectively reside." At the election at which this 
amendment was voted on, which was held on the 24th day of May, 
1866, and was ratified by a vote of 22,224 votes to 15,302 against it, 
only seventy-five votes were permitted to be cast in Mercer County, 
of which Jumping Branch and Pipestem were then parts and par- 
ticipated, sixty-one for ratification and fourteen for rejection, al- 
though the voting population of that county under the Constitution 
as it was then in force and effect was 1,000. Is not this a com- 
mentary? Out of a thousand legal voters in the county of Mercer, 
only seventy-five were of sufficient loyalty under the Nat Harrison 
regime to be allowed the elective franchise. Col. Thomas Little 
was a member of the Legislature from Mercer, which passed the 
resolution submitting this amendment, and a Republican ; and to 
his eternal honor be it said he is recorded as voting against this 
iniquity, which meant to disfranchise and decitizenize his neigh- 


bors; also David Lilly, Hon. Sylvester Upton, Russell G, French, 
the latter being classed as an ex-Confederate soldier. These men 
recorded their votes against this iniquity. 

In Greenbrier County there were about 117 votes permitted to 
be cast, out of 1,300 votes in the county; and in Monroe County, 
about 300 votes were allowed to be cast and counted, and these 
three counties then included practically all of the territory of the 
unformed county of Summers. 

Nathaniel Harrison was a native of Virginia, connected by 
descent with the family of that ancient and honorable title, which 
has produced Presidents of the United States, generals of its ar- 
mies and statesmen of great sagacity, loyalty, honor and renown. 
He was educated at the University of Virginia ; a lawyer of accom- 
plishment; a most polished and ornate orator, distinguished and 
even handsome in appearance, but Satan had set his mark upon 
him. After failing to secure a place on the staff of General Chap- 
man during the war, he went to Richmond, squandered his patri- 
mony in tobacco speculation and dissipation, and when the result 
of the Civil War could be plainly seen and the life of the Confed- 
eracy was drawing to a close and trembling in defeat, he was an 
adventure- of fortune; returning to Monroe County, a dangerous 
and embiLtered man, he secured the circuit judgeship by protesta- 
tions of loyalty to the Federal cause, and administered the duties 
of that h!,rh office in the manner herein described, a description of 
which we are unable in language to do justice. 

It was he who went to Philadelphia, selected and induced an 
educated and finished lawyer. Major Cyrus Newlin, who was then 
living in that town, to come to his circuit, locate at Union and 
enter the practice of his profession. Newlin was a thoroughly 
educated, smart, bright lawyer, without- principle or honor — a 
typical carpet-bagger. His family were of the wealthiest in the 
country, his mother having died while traveling on the continent 
of Europe. He located at Union, and at once entered into a co- 
partnership with the judge (Harrison) in Mercer, Monroe and 
Greenbrier Counties. He instituted and prosecuted suits for dam- 
ages against the old soldiers of the Confederacy and others who 
had taken no part therein, for offenses alleged to have been com- 
mitted during hostilities. Harrison, as judge, tried the cases, 
determining arbitrarily in favor of Newlin and his clients and 
against those in opposition. It was currently reported that the 
income of Harrison at one time was $20,000.00 a year from this 


Newlin was also dissipated and dissolute, and his ill-gotten 
fees passed through his hands as sands through a sieve. He took 
an active part in politics, and stopped at nothing to further and 
secure his purposes and ends and to further the interests of his 
party and to retain it in power, and his influence was very great 
over the ignorant and uneducated, many of whom had been thrust 
into power during the days of the reconstruction. He continued 
to practice after the overthrow and disappearance of his corrupt 
ally, until soon after the formation of Summers County, while at 
Hinton for the purpose of attending court, he was stricken with 
paralysis one evening, carried to his room in the Wickham House, 
and there died the next day at two o'clock, and was buried in the 
old thicket on the hillside near where the old peddler had been 
murdered, and which was converted into a graveyard, the first 
in Hinton, but which is now open to the commons and generally 
desecrated, although there are many people buried at that place. 
There is nothing to mark the grave of this brilliant, though mis- 
guided man, and there is not a human being at this day can point 
out his grave, and no mortal eye to tell in what spot of the earth 
his remains rest. Forgotten and neglected, he has passed from 
the affairs of men. 

Augustus Gwinn was sued as a defendant in the Circuit Court 
of Monroe County before Judge Harrison for one of those trespass 
and harrassing actions, by James T. Dempsey, of Possum Hollow. 
He went to Union for trial, desiring a continuance, being one of 
the few who still possessed a twenty-dollar gold piece, carried 
throughout the four years of the war. He saw Judge Harrison 
coming out of the court room, walked over, met the judge on the 
street, and began a conversation, in the meantime throwing the 
gold coin up and catching it in his hand in the presence of the 
judge. He finally told Harrison that he wanted a continuance of 
that suit. The judge asked some questions, and finally said, 
"What is that you have in your hand?" Gwinn gave it to him. 
After talking a moment, he looked at it. turned it over a few times 
in his palm, finally stuck it in his pocket, winked at Gwinn, Gwinn 
did likewise at him, and turned and walked away, and Gwinn never 
afterwards heard of that suit in that or any other court, and Brother 
Dempsey, who still lives, is none the wiser to this day. 

After Harrison had been deposed, J. AT. McWhorter was ap- 
pointed to fill the unexpired term of about two years, and was 
therefore the judge at the time Summers County was formed, and 
held that office at the time of its formation, and therefore 


appointed the first official in the organization of the new county. 
He was defeated for re-election by Judge Holt. Judge McWhorter 
was regarded as an honorable man and a just judge, though 
strongly partisan in his politics. 



Hinton M^as founded in 1874, the first town lot being sold on the 
18th day of Alay, 1874. It is ninety-six miles from Charleston, fifty 
miles from Bluefield, sixty from Lewisburg; it is now the chief 
.city in population between Staunton, Va., on the east, and Charles- 
ton, W. Va., on the west. It is the most accessible point from all 
directions in the Bluestone, New River and Greenbrier Valleys, 
and for all the mountainous and plateau regions of the counties of 
Greenbrier, Mercer, Fayette, Raleigh and Wyoming. It is the 
natural location for the center of population for all this section of 
the State ; there are now six country postal routes into the city. 
It is the end of the railway mail division between Cincinnati and 
Washington, it being the half-way point between those cities. 
There are now twenty railway postal clerks, who make their head- 
quarters in Hinton. a postmaster, assistant postmaster and five 
clerks; the income from the post office at this time is over $10,000 
per annum ; there is building a new public school building at a cost 
of $30,000, two large wholesale establishments, the New River 
Grocery Company, and the Hinton Hardware Company, whose busi- 
ness aggregates over $400,000 per year. At this time there is a 
two-story brick passenger depot, valued at $50,000, brick freight 
depot, valued at $10,000, and railway round-house and machine 
shops, valued at $100,000. The C. & O. Railway Company has more 
than $1,000,000 invested in tracks, yards and property in this city. 

There are three well-established banking ijistitutions, the Na- 
tional Bank of Summers, capitalized at $100,000.00; First National 
Bank of Hinton, capitalized at $50,000.00, and the Citizens, capital- 
ized at $50,000.00. Three modern hospitals. Cooper's, Bigony's 
and Holly's; a $50,000 bridge now spanning the New River, con- 
necting Hinton with Brooklyn on the Raleigh side ; three large 
lumber and planing mills, ninety mercantile establishments, and 
numerous other business institutions. There are twelve public 
roads running into Hinton from the surrounding country, with four 


'J'he I'"irs'( QnnkPi' to Sottlo in llinton. 


public ferries and a bridge now building by The Foss Bridge Com- 
pany across Greenbrier River. More than 6,000 cars pass over the 
railway yards, east and west, each month, handling more than 
7,000,000 pounds of freight. The railway company employs about 
1,000 men in Hinton, with a payroll of $55,000.00 per month. There 
is now on deposit in the Hinton banks nearly $1,000,000. The new 
McCreery Hotel is now nearing completion, at a cost of $105,000.00. 
There are fourteen lawyers located at Hinton in active practice, 
and twelve surgeons and physicians ; there are now three weekly 
newspapers, "The Independent Herald," Democratic, "The Hinton 
Leader," Republican, "Summers Republican," and two dailies, "The 
Hinton News," Independent, and "The Daily Herald," Democratic. 
"The News" is published by The Franklin Publishing Company, and 
"The Herald" by The Herald Publishing Company, with the Hon. 
William H. Sawyers as general manager and editor. The people 
of Hinton are enterprising, progressive and industrious, educated, 
mtellectual and patriotic, and the general morals good. 

There has been an active effort made within the past two years 
to secure for this city a modern government building, to be con- 
structed by the United States in Hinton. Through the efforts of the 
Hon. Joseph H. Gaines, a member of Congress, and Senator N. B. 
Scott, an appropriation of $10,000.00 was secured in 1906 for the 
purchase of a lot, on which this building is to be constructed. A 
very aggressive and somewhat acrimonious fight grew out of the 
location to be secured for this building, a large majority of the 
people of the county favoring the location on the public square, 
afid that site was selected. The fight grew largely out of selfish 
interest of persons desiring the location near their private prop- 
erties. The contest became so aggressive that a number of our 
citizens desired to defeat the establishment of a government build- 
ing in the city, rather than not secure their personal preferences. 
The principal of these gentlemen were W. H. Garnett. R. F. Dun- 
lap, R. H. Graham. R. D. Rose, R. R. Flannagan, C. H, Hetzel. 
Dr. O. O. Cooper and L. E. Dyke and others, who opposed the 
location ^elected, claiming, as their reason, that no part of the court 
house square should be used for any purpose, except for a public 
park, desiring a location on Third Avenue, or beloAv. Those citi- 
zens principally making a fight for a government building and its 
location in a central place, the court house square, were Sira W. 
Willy, Upsher Higginbothem, E. C. Eagle, T. N. Reed, A. R. 
Heflin, Harvey Ewart, T. G. Mann, Jas. H. Miller, A. D. Dailey, 
John M. Garden, T. H. Lilly, J. D. Humphries, William Plumley 


and others. Delegations representing each interest visited Wash- 
ington, and the advocated location of the court house square loca- 
tion finally succeeded, the government having adopted that lo- 
cation at a cost of $5,000. The county court offered the government 
a lot, the southeastern corner of the court house square, for the 
erection of this great public and beneficial enterprise, at $5,000. 
Free delivery of the mails is inaugurated in the cities of Avis 
and Hinton in 1907. Much of the credit for the establishment of 
the government building at this place is due to Hon. Sira W. 
Willy, Upsher Higginbotham, E. C. Eagle and H. Ewart. 

The first train which was made up of flat cars that ever ran into 
Hinton was in 1872, carrying material for construction. This train 
was in charge of George Thomasson, conductor, and Seth Mack, 
engineer. The first person to die in Hinton was a child of Captain 
N. M. Lowry; the first person born was John Orndorff, son of the 
railroad conductor, John Orndorfif. The second child born in Hin- 
ton was Dr. J. A. Gooch ; the first telegraph operator was a Mr. 
Baird, who had his office and residence in a box car. In 1872, 
Joseph and Silas Hinton started a moderate mercantile venture 
near the Upper Hinton ferry, w^hich marks the commencement of 
commercial industry in Hinton. The first divine edifice erected in 
Hinton was the little Catholic chapel, erected by Father Walsh, 
in 1874, where the present imposing Catholic Church now stands. 
Rev. V. M. Wheeler was the first Methodist pastor sent to Hinton. 
The first person to operate a saloon in Hinton was W. C. Ridge- 
way, whose establishment was at the railroad crossing in Upper 
Hinton. The Y. M. C. A. building of Hinton is located near the 
passenger depot, and was constructed by the Chesapeake & Ohio 
Railroad Company, the citizens providing the ground for its loca- 
tion at their own expense. 


The history of these two municipalities is so intertwined as to 
make it proper to write them in conjunction. While there are two 
separate city governments, there is but one town and no natural 
division line. At the time of the formation of this county there 
were but two houses within the corporate limits of the two corpo- 
rations. One was the old "Jack" Hinton residence, a hewed log 
building situate near the railroad crossing at the foot of the hill 
in Avis on the railroad right of way ; the other was in the center of 
the yard near the round-house ; the former was occupied as the 


Hinton residence, and the latter as the Ballangee residence, Avis 
Hinton and her family residing in the former, and the family of 
Isaac Ballangee, deceased, in the latter. We are enabled, by the 
courtesy of Mr. Frank Cundifif, to produce a cut- of the Ballangee 
residence, and by the courtesy of Mr. Howard Hinton to produce 
a cut of the old Hinton homestead. The Hinton homestead was 
occupied as a boarding house for a number of years after the com- 
pletion of the railroad, Mrs. M. S. Gentry being the proprietress 
for a number of years, and the first night ever spent in that town 
by the writer, thirty years ago, was in this boarding house of Mrs. 
Gentry, at which time Captain Phil. Cason, the oldest passenger 
railroad conductor then on the road, was then boarding. This house 
was finally torn down by the railroad company to make room for 
its double track. It was an old two-story log house, with an old- 
fashioned stone chimney, large fireplaces covered with shingles, 
the kitchen being at the end of the "big house." 

The Ballangee house was also of hewed logs, the "big house" 
being two stories, and the kitchen one story, with the same char- 
acter of chimneys and fireplaces, with a double porch fronting the 
mountain. This building was used by the railroad company for 
round-house, offices, and storage place for junk and rubbish for 
many years, but in the construction of the new yard tracks some 
eight or ten years ago, was pulled down. 

The lands on which Avis was built was, at the time of the found- 
ing of the cities, the property of Avis Hinton. the widow of John 
Hinton, to which she retained title until her death, except as she 
disposed of the same in lots. 

The Isaac Ballangee tract, on which the city of Hinton stands, 
was owned by the heirs of Isaac Ballangee, and consisted of 165 
acres. Some of these heirs being infants at the date when the rail- 
road was projected, Rufus Pack being guardian, took proceedings 
in the Circuit Court of Summers County to secure a decree for 
sale, by which the title was conveyed to the C. & O. Railroad Com- 
pany, in consideration of the sum of $3,500.00. Afterwards, the 
C. & O. Railroad Company conveyed all of the property except 
what it desired for railroad purposes and some five lots on which 
it had built tenement buildings, to the Central Land Company of 
West Virginia, a corporation, of which C. P. Huntington, the pro- 
moter and builder of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad, was the 
president, and continued in ownership, selling oflf lots from time 
to time, until the company was placed in the hands of a receiver of 
the United States Court for West Virginia, who continued to sell 


lots and exercise dominion over the property until the death of C. P. 
Huntington, in 1903, when the remaining unsold portions, amount- 
ing to some eighty acres, mostly the hill land, was sold to Wm. 
Plumley, Jr., and E. H. Peck, of Hinton, for the sum of $11,000, and 
they have continued to sell off lots and small boundaries. 

The Hinton tract originally belonged to Henry Bailangee, 
having been patented by him and conveyed afterwards to John 
Hinton, who, becoming involved in debt, the land was sold by a 
decree of the Circuit Court of Monroe County, and purchased by 
Charles Aladdy, John Maddy and David Hinton, three of his 
brothers-in-law, who lived in Monroe County, who held the title 
for some time, and then conveyed the same to Avis Hinton, who 
had succeeded in paying out the purchase money. 

What is now included in the territorial boundary of the city of 
Hinton was laid ofif into town lots, and a map made thereof in the 
year 1873, by B. R. Dunn, a civil engineer, and a brother of the 
late L. M. Dunn. This map is of record in the county clerk's office 
of this county, in Deed Book "A," page 540. Stones were placed 
at the corner of each street, and they were sold by the railroad 
company and the Central Land Company at the price of $300.00 for 
corner lots, each inside lot being sold for $250.00 ; lots which orig- 
inally cost $300.00 are now selling and worth from $8,000.00 to 

The first buildings erected in the town were principally on Front 
Street, one of the oldest buildings being the four-cornered, two- 
story square frame residence now owned by Miss Maggie Atkin- 
son ; another one was the D. H. Peck building, recently pur- 
chased by Dr. S. P. Peck and transformed into a business 
and tenement building, with three stories. The court house 
and all of the flat remained an open common and was used 
principally as a pasture for cows, hogs and horses. The 
first business and residence building on the flat was that of John 
M. Carden opposite the court house, in which he established the 
Hotchkiss House (Hotel), and operated the same for a number of 
years. The next building was on the corner of Second Avenue 
and Bailangee Streets, near the court house square, built by Carl A. 
Fredeking, in which he operated a mercantile business with Mr. 
A. G. Flanagan ; afterwards his son-in-law was manager. This 
house and half the lot is now owned by Dr. J. A. Fox, recently 
purchased for $5,200.00. 

Another one of the early buildings was a one-story, two-roomed 


frame near the present brick Methodist Church, built by B. L. Hoge, 
directly after the flood of 1878, when his residence was washed 
off in that distressing calamity. This was used by Mr. Hoge for a 
number of years, when he built an addition in front, and afterwards 
sold to the present owner, T. H. Lilly, the lumberman. 

In 1878, John Robinson's show gave a performance in a two- 
ringed circus on the square between Ballangee Street and Temple 
Street, on the lots occupied by the Central Baptist Church, J. H. 
Miller and J. T. McCreery's residences. Another one of the first 
buildings was the old Thespian Hall, built in what was known as 
Middle Hinton, opposite where Dr. Bigony's Hospital is now situ- 
ated. This building was an amateur theatrical arrangement, in 
which home talent furnished the actors and amusement for the 
town for some time, but, not being well supported financially, on 
account of the small population, was finally torn down. The first 
brick house erected in Hinton was by John Finn, an Irishman, on 
the corner of Third and Summers Streets. He purchased the lot 
January 27, 1874. The building is now owned by the city, and 
occupied by the city as its administration building. 

W. C. Ridgeway, early in the history of the city, built what was 
at that time considered a modern hotel on the corner of Third and 
Front Streets, now known as "Scrapper's Corner," and now owned 
b}^ Mrs. R. S. Tyree. This building was afterwards burned down 
in one of the numerous conflagrations which visited this city. The 
buildings in the lower town are much more regular than in the 
upper, they being on the island and scattered. The upper town. 
however, was building up more rapidly than the lower until the 
great flood in 1878, which practically destroyed the upper part of 
that then flourishing village. Seventeen houses were washed away 
and a great deal of real and personal property destroyed, but no 
lives were lost. The storehouse building, which had l)een occupied 
as a court house, B. L. Hoge, the clerk's residence, J. P. Mill's fine 
residence and others, whose names I am not now able to ascertain, 
were entirely swept away. This flood was the highest ever known 
within the memory of man of New River, and came without warn- 
ing and without opportunity for the residents to barely escape 
with their lives, without saving their property. Heaps of driftwood 
below, especially at New Richmond, were piled along the river 
banks on the shores, containing all manner of household goods, 
sewing machines, cook stoves, etc. 

Many daring acts were performed by the citizens in saving prop- 
erty from destruction, as well as the lives of the people. Hon. Wm. 


R. Thompson, then a young lawyer in the city, with the assistance 
of another party — Vanwinkle — secured a skiff, and, at great risk 
of their own lives, rowed to the residence of J. P. Mills, on the 
island near the present waterworks power house on the river bank, 
and saved the lives of that family. The water was up high into 
the building, and it was threatening to leave its foundation at any 
moment, when these gentlemen succeeded in reaching the building 
from the railroad with their boat across the tremendous torrent 
which was running between the hill and the main river. It has 
been related to me by persons who witnessed the act in the darkness 
of the night as one of the most daring acts recorded in the annals 
of adventure. 

After these gentlemen had secured from danger these families 
they went to the Evi Ballangee place, about half a mile above, and 
where the old house is still standing; the water was then running 
direct from the ferry down the side of the railroad track and over 
the railroad track a depth of some eight or ten inches ; at great 
risk they rowed across the track, the ])oat lodging on a rail, to the 
house of Mr. Ballangee, which was entirely surrounded, and solic- 
ited them to be permitted to be carried to safety, but were re- 
fused by JNIr. Ballangee and his sister, who preferred not to give up 
the house. 

The first citizens to locate in Hinton were Dr. Benjamin P. 
Gooch and M. Y. Calloway — Dr. Gooch, from our best information, 
being the very first. Among the old inhabitants who settled in 
the town, now still living, are Messrs. R. R. Flanagan, A. G. 
Flanagan, his brother: C. A. Fredeking, Charles and Lee Frede- 
king, L. M. Dunn, Walker Tyler and W. C. Ridgeway. 

An effort was made in the year 1879 to incorporate the two 
towns as one, under the State law. A \'ote was taken, but the 
upper town, which is now Avis, being bitterly opposed, incorpo- 
ration was voted down ; the lower town then proceeded to take 
a vote on its own account, which vote carried, and on the 21st 
day of September, 1880, the Town of Hinton was incorporated 
under the State law by the circuit court of this county. After- 
wards, the upper town, becoming satisfied of the necessity and 
advantages of incorporation, took a vote, and on the 4th of Septem- 
ber, 1890, was incorporated by the circuit court as the Town of 
Upper Hinton. Jacob Pyles was the first mayor, elected October 
14, 1890. The first meeting of the council was held at Graham's 
shoe shop. These two towns continued in existence until 1897, 
B. F. Thompson being the last mayor, Avhen Colonel Swope, an 

HINTON IN 1880. 


active politician, who had emigrated into our midst from Monroe 
County, believing that he could advance the interests of the Re- 
publican party, proceeded to secure the passage of an Act of the 
Legislature incorporating the two towns into one, under the title 
of the City of Hinton, by special charter. An election was held 
soon after the passage of this act ; but instead of aiding the Re- 
publican party, it seemed to have the reverse effect, every ward 
in the city electing Democratic cotmcilmen, and an entire Demo- 
cratic administration. Colonel Swope then not being satisfied 
with the political situation, proceeded to have the two towns "di- 
vorced," and at the session of 1899 the Legislature divided the 
two towns, leaving Hinton a separate corporation, and leaving Up- 
per Hinton without any municipal government whatever, the Colo- 
nel's idea being that if he could get Upper Hinton into a separate 
town, he could control its political destinies. After some time 
he had the upper town incorporated again under the State law 
as the City of Avis, and which incorporation remains operative 
to the present time ; the city of llEinton operating under the spe- 
cial charter granted by the Act of the Legislature as modified by 
the second act dividing the town into the two municipalities. In 
addition to Col. Swope's political philosophy, he and a number of 
the upper Hinton people were dissatisfied with the administration 
of the municipal government. 

The fi--st mayor of the town of Hinton was W. R. Benedict, 
who held for three terms. W. R. Duerson was mayor for three 
terms, and afterwards removed to Clifton Forge, Virginia, where 
he still resides, having been treasurer of that town for some ten 
years. I give below in succession the various mayors and re- 
corders of the town of Hinton, and also of the town of Upper Hin- 
ton and the city of Avis. The present mayor of the former is Hon. 
James F. Smith, who was re-elected for the third term on De- 
cember 5, 1905; and of the latter Mr. A. G. Meadows, who has 
been elected for the third term. R. H. Maxwell was the first 
mayor, R. W. Ervin the second,, A. G. Meadows the third, and 
Jas. E. Meadows the fourth. J. H. Allen was the first recorder, 
and held that office for several terms. The members of the first 
council were: A. G. Meadows, R. H. Maxwell, W. A. Charlton. 
Dr. J. F. Bigony and Geo. W. Pyles, with J. L. Ramsay, town 

The city of Hinton was named for Evan Hinton. the father of 
Summers County, and the city of Avis was named for Mrs. Avis 


Hinton, an aged lady who owned the property on which it now 

Until the year 1890 there was no water service for either town. 
In that year a joint stock company was organized through the 
efforts of a number of public-spirited citizens, under the title of the 
Hinton Water Works Company, which proceeded to put in a 
first-class system of water works for both towns, building a res- 
ervoir near the top of the hill, in close proximity to Hill Top 
Cemetery. This reservoir is not now in use, a new reservoir hav- 
ing been built in 1903, some 360 feet below the old reservoir. The 
original Hinton Water Works Company continued to own and 
operate the business until 1904, when it sold out its entire plant, 
franchises and property to the Hinton Water, Light & Supply 
Company, a West Virginia corporation, composed of stockhold- 
ers residing in the city of Wilkesbarre, Pa., of which O. M. Leiner 
is president and general manager. The first superintendent un- 
der the new company was R. H. Peterson, who held the position 
until the summer of 1905, when he resigned, and was succeeded 
by A. G. Flanagan, who held the position for one month, and then 
resigned on account of ill-health ; he was succeeded by H. W. 
Piatt, who held the position until January 1, 1906, when he was 
succeeded by A. A. Miller, the present superintendent. 

The first lights for the town were the old-fashioned street 
lamps, which burned kerosene oil. These were continued until F. 
M. Starbuck, an enterprising machinist, and Dr. S. P. Peck, con- 
structed a lighting plant for the city, contracting with the authori- 
ties for lighting the town and private residences and business 
houses with up-to-date electric lights. This plant was operated by 
Dr. Peck as owner until 1901, when he sold to the same gentle- 
men who purchased the Hinton Water Works properties, and they 
were consolidated into one establishment, the light and water 
service for the two cities now being provided by this company. 

A sewerage system was established in the year , at a cost 

of $10,000. Twenty-year bonds for the town of Hinton were voted 
to be used for that purpose. These bonds remain unpaid. The 
only indebtedness against the city of Hinton being the $10,000 
bonded indebtedness for sewerage purposes, and liability by reason 
of the $12,000 in bonds voted by the school district for high school 

The streets in the city of Hinton were named by the engineer, 
Dunn. Front Street taking its name by reason of its fronting on 
the railway track and the river: the next street above being Sum- 


mers, named for the county; the next street above being Temple 
Street, named after Major Temple, one of the chief engineers who 
built the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad, and who had his headquar- 
ters in the building constructed by him at New Richmond; Bal- 
langee Street, the next street above, was named after the old set- 
tlers of that name; James Street was named for William James, 
the lumberman, who early settled in the town. The cross streets 
were originally called 1st, 2d, 3d, 4th, 5th, 6th, etc., streets, but 
are now called by the more modern name of avenues. 

The religious history of the town will be found under the va- 
rious church titles in a separate chapter, to which the reader is 
referred for details. The reader is also referred, for educational 
history of the towns, to the chapter on Schools. 

The first professional man to locate in the town was Dr. Benj. 
P. Gooch, as above stated; then Dr. Jno. G.Manser, and Dr. S. P. 
Peck, then a young man, who graduated and located in the city, 
and has since that time cast his destiny with the towns and made 
them his home. N. M. Lowry, W. W. Adams and J. S. Thorne 
were probably the first lawyers. 

The first bank established in Hinton was the Bank of Hinton, 
promoted by Hon. Azel Ford as president, Edwin Prince, Esq., a 
capitalist of Raleigh County; and M. A. Riffe, then of Hinton, as 
cashier. This bank was afterwards converted into the First Na- 
tional Bardc of Hinton. The second bank established was that of 
the Bank of Summers, in 1893, the principal promoters being the 
present and only cashier, Mr. J. H. Jordan, Jas. H. Miller, H. 
Gwinn, its president, and ex-Sheriff H. Ewart and W. J. Bright- 

The latest banking establishment has only recently been or- 
ganized — that of the Citizens' Bank, a State institution, promoted 
by L. P. Graham, the cashier; W. H. Warren, its president, and 
J. Donald Humphries, one of the largest stockholders. These 
financial institutions are a pride and an honor to the town, and 
should be to any town. They are operated under honest, legitimate 
business management, and the people are as safe in intrusting 
their funds with them as with any government — at least, while 
under the present conservative management. 

The second attempt at a town hall was that built by J. H. 
Gunther. in the third story of a large brick building constructed in 
the year 1885, on the grounds now occupied by Dr. S. P. Peck's 
brick flats. This building was considered dangerous and was never 
successful, and was burned down a few vears later. The next was 


the present opera house, which was originally built by Colonel J. 
A. Parker and Dr. S. P. Peck, the entire second floor being used 
for opera house and theatrical purposes. Some differences having 
arisen between these gentlemen, the hall was divided, Dr, Peck 
discontinuing; and Colonel Parker has for many years operated 
the present Parker Opera House, which is the only institution of 
that character in the city. 

A new opera house is now under projection, to be built in the 
Masonic Temple, of which Hon. P. K. Litsinger is the promoter." 
R. R. Flanagan, in the year 1900, built a three-story brick busi- 
ness house adjoining the Bank of Hinton, on Third Avenue, the 
third story being used as a hall, and has been the Knights Tem- 
plars hall since the organization of that order in the city. 

The Ewart-Miller Company completed in 1905 their new three- 
story brick building, the third story of which is devoted to hall 

The Hinton Toll Bridge is now under construction, being an 
iron bridge across New River, at the head of Temple Street, land- 
ing near the mouth of Madam's Creek. This enterprise was largely 
promoted by Dr. J. A. Fox, and when completed will be a valuable 
enterprise for the upbuilding of the lower town. 


This financial institution first opened for business June 3, 1895, 
under a charter issued by the Secretary of State of West Virginia, 
as a State bank, with an authorized capital of $50,000.00, and with 
a paid-up capital of only $27,800.00. Its first officials were H. 
Gwin, president ; C. B. Mahon. vice-president ; H. Ewart, James H. 
Miller and W. J. Brightwell, directors, with J. H. Jordan, cashier. 
These officers continued as long as the Bank of Summers was in 
existence. About the 1st of January, 1906, it was converted into a 
national bank, with the same directors. Captain Charles Faulkner, 
T. H. Lilly, James T. McCreery and Colonel J. A. Parker being 
added to the directorate, J. H. Jordan continued as cashier, H. 
Gwinn resigning as president, and James T. McCreery made presi- 
dent to fill the vacancv. The advancement of this bank has been 
phenomenal ; it numbers among its stockholders a large number of 
the most prominent and safest business men of Summers County, 
the volume of its business now amounting to over $700,000.00, and 
occupies handsome bank quarters on the corner of Third Avenue 
and Temple Streets, in Hinton, the book value of its stock being 


$160.00 per share, and is the strongest bank in the New or Green- 
brier River Valleys. 


This is the oldest banking institution in Summers County ; it 
opened for business in 1887, and was capitalized at $25,000.00. Hon. 
Azel Ford was its promoter, with Edwin Prince. The first officials 
were Azel Ford, president; Edwin Prince, vice-president; M. A. 
RifTe, cashier; E. O. Prince, assistant cashier, and James Kay. They 
constituted also the board of directors. On the 29th of August, 

1900, the Bank of Hinton was converted into a national bank, under 
the title of the First National Bank of Hinton, and its capital in- 
creased to $50,000.00. The first dividend was declared on June 30, 

1901, of three per cent., and since that time it has been one of the 
most successful business enterprises in the county, the book value 
of its capital stock being about $125.00 per share. The present 
offtcials of the bank are Azel Ford, president; O. O. Cooper, vice- 
president; W. H. Garnet, cashier; Joseph Hinton, R. R. Flannagan, 
William Plumley, Jr., M. J. Cook and J. A. Graham, directors. Hon. 
Azel Ford has been president of the institution since 1887, and the 
successive cashiers have been M. A. Riffe, E. O. Prince, F. R. Van 
Antwerp, W. M. Puckett and W. H. Garnet, its volume of business 
now amounting to practically $500,000.00. It occupies a commo- 
dious, substantial three-story brick and stone building, erected for 
its especial occupancy, and is a modern banking institution in every 
particular, and includes among its stockholders many of the promi- 
nent financial men of Summers County. 


This bank was founded in November. 1905, by Luther P. Gra- 
ham, William H. Warren and J. Donald Humphries. The president 
is William H. AVarren ; L. P. Graham, cashier; and the directors 
are W. H. Waren, M. J. Cook, J. A. Graham, O. S. Fredeking, 
J. D. Humphries and John Lang. This is the youngest banking 
institution in the county and is a safe and substantial institution. 
The volume of its first year's business amounted to $100,000.00, 
and the book value of its stock is $110.00 per share. 

The Hinton Hospital was founded by Dr. O. O. Cooper in 1900, 
and from a modest enterprise of a two-story building, it has grown 
into a large four-story establishment, with a stafT o^ five surgeons, 


and has a reputation throughout the State, O. O. Cooper, the owner 
and chief surgeon, having a reputation as one of the finest surgeons 
in the country. 


Two hundred and ninety miles from Washington; 518 miles 
from New York; 428 miles from Philadelphia; 332 miles from Bal- 
timore ; 270 miles from Richmond ; 347 miles from Newport News ; 
357 miles from Norfolk; 307.9 miles from Cincinnati; 613.5 miles 
from Chicago ; 683.2 miles from St. Louis ; 96.6 miles from Charles- 
ton, the State Capitol. 

The post office at Hinton now distributes mail to 7,000 people. 
It is the most accessible and central point for operations in the New 
River, Bluestone and Greenbrier Valleys, and most of the moun- 
tainous and plateau regions of the counties of Greenbrier, Poca- 
hontas, IMercer, Fayette, Raleigh, Monroe and Wyoming, connected 
directly with each of these counties, except the latter. It is the 
natural location for the center of population for all this region of 
the State. It is situate on the main line of the Chesapeake & Ohio 
Railway, and is a central point for the distribution of the United 
States mails for this region. There are now six country postal 
routes into the city — one to Princeton, one to Jumping Branch, one 
to Beckley, one to Elk Knob and Clayton, one to Talcott and Al- 
derson, one to Forest Hill and Pack's Ferry, AVar Ford and Crump's 
Bottom, besides the railway mail service. It is the end of the rail- 
way mail service division between Washington and Cincinnati, the 
half-way point between those two cities. There are now ten daily 
mails delivered into Hinton by the railway service, and the number 
of pieces of mail received into this office and distributed therefrom 
daily is enormous. This postoffice is now open from 4:30 a. m. 
to 12:00 at night, eighteen hours out of the day. 

The United States marshal has headquarters here, with one 
deputy, and it is a central point from which to operate that depart- 
ment of justice in this whole region of the State, a territory of 
more than 5,000 square miles. The railway company has more 
than a millon dollars invested in the Hinton yards, tracks, etc. 

There are twelve public roads running into Hinton from the 
surrounding country, with four public ferries. There have been 
located the roads for two railways leading from Hinton up New 
River to the mouth of East River, at the junction of the county 
lines for Mercer, Monroe and Summers, West Virginia, and Giles 


County, Virginia, a distance of thirty-five miles, and the right-of- 
way secured and paid for by the Norfolk & Western and the Hin- 
ton & Northwestern Railroad Companies ; and it is also the central 
point for the large commercial interests in the New River Valley, 
and a large amount of lumber, staves and merchandise are trans- 
ported down that river to this place. More than 6,000 freight cars 
pass over the yards, both east and west each month, handling more 
than 700,000,000 pounds of freight. The company employs a thou- 
sand men at this point, with a monthly pay-roll of more than 
$50,000.00. There is now on deposit in the Hinton banks about 
$1,000,000, showing the thrift, saving and economy of the citizens 
of this county. There are now twelve lawyers located here, three 
weekly newspapers and two daily newspapers — "The Independent 
Herald," weekly and daily; "Hinton Leader," weekly; "Daily 
News," and the "Summers Republican," weekly. To show the en- 
terprise and public spirit of the county court and its citizens, we 
reproduce a copy of an order entered concerning the location of a 
government building at this place. 

A few facts about the city were gotten out in pamphlet form, 
with a view to securing the erection of a United States Custom 
House at this point in 1906, by Messrs. E. C. Eagle, chairman ; A. R. 
Heflin and James H. Miller, committee. 


The Hinton Hardware Company is the second pioneer whole- 
sale and jobbing establishment organized in Summers County. 
It is a joint stock company, chartered under the laws of the State 
of West Virginia, on December 26. 1901. Its first officers were, 
James H. Miller, president; James H. George, vice-president; A. 
G. Flanagan, secretary; H. Ewart. treasurer. The first board of 
directors consisted of James H. Miller, L. E. Johnson, A. G. Flan- 
agan, H. Ewart and J. C. James. 

The present officers are, James H. Miller, president; J. \V. 
Rufif, vice-president; James H. George having resigned and re- 
moved to Wyoming County; A. G. Flanagan, secretary, and H. 
Ewart, treasurer. The present board of directors are, James H. 
Miller, J. W. RuiT, L. E. Johnson, A. G. Flanagan. IT. Ewart, J. C. 
James and W. J. Nelson. 

The first general manager was L. P. Graham. Avho took charge 
of the business at its organization, March 1. 1902, with Fenton 
H. Miller in charge of retail department. Mr. Graham retained 


the management until January 1, 1903, at which date he declined 
further election, and Fenton H. Miller, of Gauley Bridge, was made 
general manager, retaining the management until January 1, 1905, 
at which date he resigned to become the cashier of the Bank of 
Gauley, at Gauley Bridge, West Virginia, and at which time W. J. 
Nelson, the present manager, was elected. The salary paid the first 
manager was $100 per month, the second manager, $100 per month, 
and the present manager, $150 per month. 

The business has steadily grown. At its organization it bought 
out the retail establishment of L. P. Graham, and operated it until 
during the year 1904, both a retail and jobbing department. In 
1905 it disposed of its retail establishment to the Summers Hard- 
ware Company. In 1905, it constructed its first warehouse, an iron 
building, four stories, 45 feet in width by 190 feet in length, and 
carries a stock of about $30,000 in goods. The prospects for the 
future of this establishment are encouraging, it having passed 
the breakers in its financial existence. W. J. Nelson, of Roanoke, 
Virginia, is the present general manager ; its bookkeeper being 
H. L. Johnson ; first salesman ; Joseph Roles, Ira Leftwich, Brent 
Dabney and John Lilly: first bookkeeper James Johnson. 

It first occupied rooms on Third Avenue, before the erection of 
its present handsome quarters. It deals in all character of hard- 
ware and merchandise incident to the hardware trade. Its terri- 
tory is now principally Summers and parts of Raleigh, Monroe, 
Greenbrier and Pocahontas. 



Land was abundant and cheap in the early days of Summers 
County, and the commonwealth was originally generous in land 
grants to settlers, and unwisely generous as to companies. There 
was little formality. As before stated, the pioneer located on 
such land as suited him, and looked after the title later. They 
simply took up what was called the "Tomahawk Right," or "Corn 
Title," which was in law no legal title whatever, but, by proper 
attention, these rights could be converted into legal titles, as herein 
shown, and the settler was given a grant. Frequently the pioneer 
took up his claim near a spring, and would deaden some trees, and 
with his tomahawk place his initials on the skin of a tree. This 
done, the commissioners of the government would come along 
later, see who claimed the land, and these evidences of the settler's 
rights were respected unless he claimed title to too much. After 
laying his claim thus, he would plant a patch of corn, and thus 
grew up the fashion of claiming land under what was known as 
the "corn title." Under these arrangements as much as 400 acres 
could be taken up, and a claim by pre-emption to 1,000 acres more 
adjacent. The certificate given to the settler l)y the government 
representative would be sent in to Richmond, and if there was no 
other claim in six months, he would be given his grant, the good 
locations always being secured first, the land being so cheap the 
pioneer was more of a hunter than a farmer, and the foundation of 
much litigation was laid in the early days, and from which later 
a rich harvest fell to the part of the counsellor at law. In many 
instances the settler, having secured a claim, would sell his rights 
and the grant' would be issued to the assignee, as will be noted 
from many of the old patents. They were granted, not to the 
original settler, but to his assignee. After the Revolutionary War 
what were known as Land Warrants were issued for a given num- 
ber of acres, and the party holding this warrant could go and 
locate it wherever he pleased, and they were frequently sold and 
assigned a number of times before a grant would be issued. 


Persons grew wealthy trading in land warrants, for large tracts 
from twenty to many hundred thousand acres, and then selling 
these rights at speculative prices. The most of the land east of the 
Alleghenies was granted by the King of England, which were 
known as "Crown Grants." There are a very few crown grants 
west of the Alleghenies, and none of which we have any evidence 
within the territorial limits of Summers County. The United States 
Government never held any title to a foot of ground therein. 

Lands in all this region were very cheap at the time of the early 
settlers ; any adventurer could secure a title to a large or small 
boundary, as he saw proper. The first settlers usually took up and 
located the fertile bottoms and level lands along the streams, which 
they considered worth paying taxes on. No formalities were re- 
quired ; the pioneer squatted on what he desired, and procured title 
at his convenience afterwards. The "tomahawk" or "corn title" 
was considered the best, although it amounted to no title at law, 
but usually grew into a good title in time. The man who located 
on his selection cleared out a patch of ground, and immediately 
raised some corn, after deadening a few trees. The man who raised 
the first hill of corn on a given tract was understood to be the owner 
of the ground, so he did not claim too much — the maximum being 
400 acres by the "corn title" — and he might be entitled to 1,000 
acres adjoining, provided he proved his "corn title" claim by build- 
mg a residence and proceeding to farm it. The residence was usu- 
ally a log cabin. The representative of the government visited the 
different settlements once in awhile, secured proof of the "corn 
title," issued his certificates to the squatters. These certificates 
were later sent in to the governor at Richmond, who issued his 
"grant" or "patent" from the Commonwealth. It will therefore be 
observed that the pioneer easily secured his "squatter's rights" ; the 
same then merged into a settler's claim, and later a grant from the 
Commonwealth by its governor, under the great seal of the State. 
These were always written on parchment made from the dressed 
skins of some small animal. The poor land was always refused 
until the fertile land had all been taken up ; and, observing the 
dates of the various patents as they were issued from the Common- 
wealth, all of the bottom lands and level lands in this region were 
taken up first, as they bear the most ancient dates, the patents of 
which bear an earlier date than the high, hilly, rough and barren 
lands. The surveys in the early days were irregular, and made in 
a crude, and, frequently, inaccurate, manner, and the old patents 
nearly all contain more acres than the grants called for. Frequently 


the surveys would interlock. Later, lands were taken up by land 
office warrants : after these had remained on file a certain time a 
grant would be issued ; later, many patents were secured without 
any actual survey. The land-grabber or speculator would get an 
engineer to lay down on a piece of property without any actual 
survey, a tract of land sometimes containing thousands of acres, 
without ever going on the grounds. In this way sometimes these 
land titles would cover the same property, but usually the 
man secured actual possession and retained it — had nine points 
of law in his favor. There were a few, however, of the larger 
grants in Summers County. There were some, however, including 
the Henry Banks, in Green Sulphur District ; Welch, in Pipestem ; 
McCraw's and Hollinsworth, Pollard's, and others which contained 
thousands of acres, but the great proportion of the territory of 
Summers County was taken up in comparatively small patents. 
We give a few instances of litigation that has grown out of the 
conflicting land titles in this county ; but comparatively little liti- 
gation has arisen. All of the titles of land in this county are de- 
rived from the Commonwealth since it became a member of the 
United States. Prior to that time the grants to land titles within 
the territory of Virginia were from the Crown of England. After 
the Revolution a man bought his land warrant, located his land 
wherever he could find it, and frequently sold and assigned his 
warrant, and the patent would be issued to the assignee. The titles 
to the land west of the Alleghenies runs back to the Common- 
wealth ; the titles to the land east of those mountains were granted 
by the Crown of England. We know of no land in Summers 
County or in this region which was a Crown grant, unless a part 
thereof was derived from that source through the Greenbrier Com- 
pany, which had a grant for 100,000 acres, through John Lewis. 
While many of the conveyances of land titles in this county are 
loosely thrown together, they are usually sufficient to be readily 
cured, and the titles are practically perfect. No part of the lands 
of Summers County at any time ever vested in the United States 
Government. There were a few patents issued by the State of 
West Virginia, after its formation in 1863, but a very small and 
insignificant proportion, if any tract of land, could now be found va- 
cant in Summers County, with no one claiming the title. No grant 
could be secured, but it is reported as vacant and unappropriated, 
sold by authority of law, and the proceeds passed to the credit of 
the general school fund. There are also a number of other titles 
in the county known as tax titles. Where the owner of real estate 


fails to pay the tax thereon, it is returned as delinquent for non- 
payment of taxes, sold by the sheriff, and the proceeds credited to 
the general school fund. The clerk executed to the purchaser a 
deed conveying the title vested in the party in whose name the land 
was forfeited for the non-payment of the taxes thereon. 

The lands at the mouth of Bluestone were patented to the same 
Thomas Gatliff, as assignee of David Frazier, by grant from Robert 
Brook, Governor of Virginia, on the 30th day of July, 1796. J. L. 
Barker now resides on a portion of this grant, which consisted of 
370 acres ; John W. Barker on another portion ; the old Charles 
Clark homestead and L. M. Meador's family on another portion. 
Thomas Meador, the father of Samuel H. Meador, at one time, and 
at his death owned a portion of this valuable property; He was a 
relative of the Packs. 

The earliest land grant of which we have knowledge is for a 
tract of land on the mountain between the mouth of Greenbrier 
River and WoU Creek. It was issued by Thomas Jefferson in 1779. 
The claim for the land was laid in 1772, four years before the Decla- 
ration of Independence. 

On the seventh day of May, 1869, David Keller and wife con- 
veyed three of these ancient surveys to Andrew Gwinn, David 
Keller having derived title under the will of Conrad Keller. All 
of these old papers are very ancient, and are something of curiosi- 
ties by reason thereof. 

The land titles of the whole of the county were derived from the 
Commonwealth by these grants, commonly known as "patents," 
issued by the governor. Prior to the date of the Revolutionary 
War the titles were derived from the Crown of England by grants 
from the king, but there are no Crown grants in Summers County, 
unless the 100,000 acres granted to the Greenbrier Company lies in 
this county. This grant was prior to 1776. 

The "West Survey" AVelcli patent, of some 29 ,000. acres in Pipe- 
stem, was granted m 1795. There is now less than 5,000 acres of 
it intact. 

The Isaac Ballengee land (Avis) was granted October 18, 1787; 
patent to Jean Ballengee. 13 acres, in November 22, 1800. 

Rufus Pack, executor, sold to the C. & O. Railroad, December 
6, 1871, for $3,600.00, the land on which Hinton is now built, at 
auction, and the C. & O. Railroad Company to Central Land Com- 
pany, January 20, 1875 ; Central Land Company to Wm. Plumley 
and E. H. Peck; and E. H. Peck and Wm. Plumley to J. A. Parker, 
the various owners continuing to sell off town lots during their 


ownership within the city of Hinton, and Avis Hinton to do the 
same in the town of Avis. 

John M. Gregory issued his patent to Ephraim and J. Gwinn 
August 30, 1842, for twenty-one acres. 

On the 31st of July, 1779, John Osborne sold to Samuel Gwinn, 
for five shillings, 245 acres at Green Sulphur. Samuel Gwinn con- 
veyed these lands to4iis son, E. J. Gwinn, as a gift on the 20th of 
October, 1829. 

Robert Withrow, who seems to have been the founder of the 
ancient Lick Creek family of that name, of whom John K, and 
Columbus Wran are now the oldest representatives living in that 
region, resided on and owned the farm back of the old Miller grave- 
yard on Lick Creek, owned by A. A. INIiller at his death, and now 
by his son-in-law, John A. George. He purchased from one Strick- 
land. Robert Withrow also owned the place where John Dunbar 
lives, these lands having passed through the hands of Jack Smith, 
one of the most ancient merchants and the first who kept a store at 

James Wood, Governor of Virginia, issued his letters pat- 
ent to James Claypool for 285 acres of land at Green Sulphur 
Springs on the 17th day of March, 1798. The same governor, in 
1795, issued a patent to Samuel Hollandsworth for 480 acres. Hol- 
landsworth was assignee of John Osborne, Henry Stockwell and 
James Claypool, and adjoined the John Karris patent. In 1799, 
John Osborne and wife conveyed, for fifty-eight shillings, to Sam- 
uel Gwinn, of Monroe County, 250 acres, patented of the 30th of 
October, 1793, witnessed by John Ball. 

Samuel Gwinn was the founder of the Gwinn family, and was a 
Revolutionary soldier, and on this land was settled Ephraim J. 
Gwinn. who married Rachel Keller. He is the discoverer of the 
Green Sulphur Springs and father of M. and H. Gwinn. 

Thomas Randolph, Governor of Virginia, issued patent to 
Samuel Gwinn the 1st of November, 1821. for thirty-one acres of 
land on Lick Creek. 

James Preston, Governor of Virginia, issued patent to John 
Duncan on the 17th of August, 1816, for 19>< acres of land on Mill 
Creek, near its mouth at Green Sulphur. 

James Monroe, Governor of Virginia, issued his patent to Sam- 
uel Gwinn for five acres of land on the 2d of December, 1800. 

Henry Lee, Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, granted 
by his patent 380 acres of land to Jeptha Massey on the 15th day 
of i^ugust, 1794. The date of survey was the 2d of February, 1791, 


on Greenbrier River, below the lands of Samuel Gwinn at the lower 
end of a small island. This included the George W. Chattin place 
opposite Talcott. and a part of the 380 acres is now held by N. 
Bacon, Esq. 

On the 8th day of September, 1824, James Pleasants, Jr., Gov- 
ernor of Virginia, granted to Sallie Graham, by patent, eighteen 
acres in Monroe County, on Greenbrier River, adjoining the lands 
of Jonathan Matthews. This is' the identical land at the falls of 
Greenbrier River on which Bacon's Mills are now situated and on 
which Fluke's mill and carding machine was burned, and was evi- 
dently secured for the valuable water power thereon. A mill-race 
was on the ground at the time the patent was issued, and is men- 
tioned in the description thereof. These two ancient land papers 
are in the hands of Mr. N. Bacon. 

On May 13, 1813, \\^illiam Gary Nicholas issued his patent to 
John Miller for thirty-seven acres on main Flag Fork of Lick Creek 
on the waters of New River; Land Office Treasury Warrant No. 
1936, issued 15th of January, 1808, adjoining Samuel Withrow, 
John Stuart and his own land. 

John Tyler, Governor of Virginia, and afterwards President of 
the United States, issued his patent to James Butler for 130 acres 
of land, which is the same tract of land granted to John Griffith for 
134 acres by patent of July 30, 18 — , and by Griffith conveyed by 
deed to James Butler, dated December 11, 1802, as 135 acres on 
Flag Fork and Fisher's Branch. This is the land known as the 
Simms' Ridge Farm, where John Hoke now lives, in Green Sulphur 

Edmund Randolph, Governor of Virginia, issued, his patent on 
the 19th day of April, 1788, to Benjamin Pollard, assignee of Henry 
Banks, for 1,390 acres on "Bradshaw's River," a branch of Indian 
Creek, by virtue of Land Office Warrant issued as No. 21,563, dated 
23d of December, 1783; surveyed March 8, 1786. This large grant 
is now cut up into many small farms, and is in Forest Hill District, 
and includes the A. M. Hutchinson farm and many others adjoining. 

In 1794, General Wayne won his great fight with the Indians at 
Fallen Timbers; which broke completely their power and terminated 
their depredations east of the Ohio River. The Crown of England 
had made large grants of land in order to secure possession of the 
territory west of the Allegheny INIountains, which was claimed 
under the dominion of the French kings, and at one time France, 
no doubt, had the best title, and, in order to secure its claims, the 
King of England granted the Ohio Company 500,000 acres between 


the Monongahela, Kanawha and Ohio Rivers; to the Greenbrier 
Company 100,000 acres on the Greenbrier and its waters ; to the 
Loyal Land Company, 800,000 acres north from the North Carolina 
line. It was in 1751 that John Lewis, while proceeding to locate 
the Greenbrier grant, found Steven Sewall and Jacob Marlin, at 
where Marlington is now located, in Pocahontas County. The 
Loyal Land Company proceeded to locate its grant on the upper 
New River, in Giles and adjacent territory. The French were 
watching these transactions, and undertook to thwart the inten- 
tions of the British Government, and sent out its soldiers from 
Lake Champlain, who came on to the forts at the Miami, and a 
number of Indians and traders were killed, and thus began the 
French and Indian War, the termination of which forever ended 
all claims of the French dominion over these territories. Imme- 
diately after the destruction of the power of the Indians "by General 
Wayne, m 1794, the country in all this region rapidly settled. Land 
grants were taken out as rapidly as located, and a great majority 
of these grants or patents were by reason of this celebrated victory. 
Robert Morris, the American patriot financier, who financed the 
Revolution in Philadelphia, and who died in poverty, secured grants 
of 8,000,000 acres, some of which was within the territory of our 
county, and largely in Raleigh. Fayette, McDowell, Wyoming, 
Boone, Logan, ^Nlingo, W^ayne, Cabell, Lincoln, Kanawha, Mercer 
and Putnam Counties. There were two of the Robert Morris pat- 
ents of 50,000 and 75,000 acres which lapped over in to the territory 
of this county, one in Forest Hill and one in Jumping Branch; 
80,000 acres were granted to Samuel Hopkins; 17,000 to Moore and 
Beckley, a considerable part of which was in this county; 90,000 
acres in one patent to James Welch, later known as the West Lands ; 
another Welch patent of 28,000 acres ; originally part of this patent 
is in Pipestem District. John West lived in Alexandria, Va. His 
descendants sold to John E. Reubsam. The land is now owned by 
Kelso Dickey and others, and there is no more than 4,000 or 5,000 
acres remaining, in detached and small tracts, mostly on the waters 
of Pipestem and Bluestone; 50,000 acres were granted to DeWitt 
Clinton; another grant to Robert Morris of 500.000 acres; to Dr. 
John Dillon, 480,000 acres, and so on. These large grants were in 
this region, but only a small proportion of them in this county. Fre- 
quently they lapped over each other, or there were junior and 
smaller patents within them, and from which source great harvests 
have been reaped from litigation to the attorneys-at-law. John 
West, who is known from his connection with the large survey of 


land in Pipestem District, and of another 10,000 acres in Raleigh 
and Wyoming, was a natural son, his residence being in Alexan- 
dria, Va. 

Edmond Randolph, Governor of Virginia, issued his warrant to 
James Gwinn on the 8th day of November, 1787, and in the twelfth 
year of that Commonwealth, for 400 acres on Little Wolf Creek, 
adjoining John Dixon. 

Beverly Randolph, Governor of Virginia, on the 30th day of 
January, ,1790, issued his grant to James Gwinn for sixty acres on 
Keller's Creek, and Peter V. Daniel, Lieutenant-Governor of Vir- 
ginia, on the 1st day of July, 1819, issued his warrant to Joseph 
Gwinn for twenty-five acres on Keller's Creek. 

Edmond Randolph. Governor of said State, on the 10th of De- 
cember, 1787, issued his patent unto Samuel Gwinn for 400 acres by 
virtue of survey made on the 1st of June, 1784, on the south side 
of Greenbrier River adjoining Henry Jones and John Van Bibber. 
This is the land on which O. T. Kesler now resides, which has 
recently been purchased by the Summers Food & Dairy Company. 

James Wood, Governor of said Commonwealth, on the 20th day 
of January, 1798, issued his grant unto Samuel Gwinn for 220 acres 
adjoining William Graham. 

Edmond Randolph issued his patent unto John Lee, assignee of 
Peter Van Bibber, for 180 acres on Greenbrier River, adjoining 
John Van Bibber, on the 18th day of October, 1787. 

James Monroe, then Governor of Virginia, afterwards President 
of the United States, and the author of the famous "Monroe Doc- 
trine," on the 5th day of August, 1782, granted unto William and 
David Graham, forty-three acres adjoining Conrad Keller, Samuel 
Gwinn and John Perry. 

These lands are now principally, if not altogether, owned by 
Andrew Gwinn, of Lowell, and these grants are all written in long 
hand on the old parchment made from sheepskin. We have an old 
deed between Samuel Gwinn, Sr., and Samuel Gwinn, Jr., dated on 
the 26th day of October, 1807, by which is conveyed three different 
tracts of land on Greenbrier River near Lowell. The signature of 
Samuel Gwinn is witnessed by O. Tolles, Joseph Alderson, John 
Gwinn and George Alderson ; was admitted to record at the Decem- 
ber court of Monroe County, 1807; attested by Isaac Hutchinson, 
C. T. 

M. C. Barker purchased of Alfred Beckley on the 7th day of 
June, 1850, a part of the Moore and Beckley Survey in Jumping 
Branch District, on the Cottle Ridge, containing 545 acres, for the 


sum of $500. The deed to this property is written in the beautiful 
handwriting of General Alfred Beckley, the famous scrivener, sur- 
veyor and graduate of West Point, whose father was the first clerk 
of the House of Representatives of the United States Congress, 
and whose son, John Beckley, was for many years the accomplished 
clerk of the County Court of Raleigh County, and is still an hon- 
ored citizen residing at Beckley. 

We find here and there throughout the county a few of the 
original land grants or patents from the State of Virginia to various 
of the early settlers. Among these we have run across the original 
granted by William Smith, Governor, to Edwin W. Woodson and 
Jacob Campbell, bearing date of the 14th day of March, 1845, for 
259 acres on Bradshaw's Run. 

A second grant by said William Smith, Governor, to John 
Woodrum and Bird W^oodrum for 231 acres on Spruce Run in 
Forest Hill District, granted on the 20th day of November, 1846. 

John Tyler, Governor of Virginia, granted unto William Gra- 
ham, on the 10th day of January, 1810, and in the 34th year of the 
Commonwealth, 200 acres. The original survey for this grant was 
on the 12th day of July, 1803. This land is situated on Greenbrier 
River at Lowell, and is now owned by Andrew Gwinn. Joseph 
Pierson secured a grant in the same'neighborhood on the 10th day 
of July, 1797, which was conveyed by deed afterward to said Wil- 
liam Graham, and is described as being on Keller's Creek, a branch 
of Greenbrier River, adjoining Conrad Keller, Samuel Gwinn, John 
DeBoy and David Jarred. 

A patent was issued to Henry Banks, adjoining and below 
Captain James Grahant, of 2,070 acres; also another for 1,000 acres, 
by virtue of Treasury Warrants Nos. 16,8.S4 and 16,865, dated on 
the 2d of June, 1773, said Banks being the assignee of Alalcolm 
Hart. Date of patent, April 24, 1786. These lands were on Green- 
brier River. 

Thomas M. Gregory, Lieutenant-Governor of \'irginia. issued 
patent to Francis Tyree on the 13th of August, 1842. for eighty- 
nine acres on Hump Mountain, adjoining the Michael Kaylor, John 
Gwinn and William DeOuasie land. This land is the David Bowles 
land, a part of which is now owned by W. W. Richmond. The land 
had been taken up long before the war by Land Office Treasury 
Warrant No. 14,032. 

James Johnson, Governor of Virginia, issued his patent to Rob- 
ert Hurt for forty-five acres on Tom's Run. in Pipestem District, 
on the 11th dav of December, 1850, now belonging to Henry N. — . 


James Johnson, Governor, issued his patent also to Andrew 
Farley, Jr., October 21, 1851, for 110 acres, now owned by O. J. 
Farley, in Pipestem District. 

John B. Floyd, Governor, issued his patent to Robert Hurt, on 
the 29th of June, 1850, in Pipestem. 

John B. Floyd, Governor of Virginia, also issued to Albert G. 
Pendleton and Allen Brown a patent for 320 acres in Pipestem Dis- 
trict, on the 20th of May, 1850. 

John Letcher, who was Governor of Virginia when the Civil 
War began, issued his patent to James Ellis on June 3, 1859, for 
150 acres on Three Mile Branch of Tom's Run, in Pipestem Dis- 
trict of Mercer County, by virtue of Land Office Treasury Warrant 
No. 22,577. 

Said Joseph Johnson, Governor, also issued his patent to Robert 
Pine for 200 acres on the head of Tom's Run, on the 10th of June, 

Harry A. Wise, Governor of Virginia, issued his patent to Park- 
erson Pennington on the 13th of June, 1844, for sixty-five acres on 
Three Mile Branch of Tom"s Run. 

On the 12th of May, 1858, said Governor of Virginia, Henry A. 
Wise, issued his patent to David Martin for seventy-four acres on 
Tom's Run, Warrant No. 22,757. 

Governor John B. Floyd also, on the 24th of June, 1850, issued 
his patent to Hugh Means for six acres between Dry Fork and 
Tom's Run. Hugh Means was the father of Charles Means, who 
lived many years on Lick Creek, and was a character in his day. 

On the 8th day of June, 1855, Governor Henry A. Wise issued 
his patent to Gideon Farley, by virtue of AVarrant No. 21,724, for 
100 acres, on Clay Branch. 

On the 23d day of March, 1856, Alexander H. H. Stuart, who 
once owned the Vvliite Sulphur Springs, conveyed to William 
Brown 100 acres in St. Clair Abbott tract. This deed' was recorded 
in Mercer County. 

Henry A. Wise, Governor, also, on the 18th day of June, 1856, 
granted to John Cawley, at Symmon's Fork of Pipestem, 200 acres, 
270 acres, and sixty-five acres, surveyed for Brown and Pennington. 

James Pleasants, Governor of Virginia, issued his patent to Asa 
Ellison, by virtue of Land Office Warrant No. 6,802, on the 23d of 
September, 1822, for forty-six acres of land on Tom's Run, then 
Giles County. 

On the 24th day of May, 1850, John B. Floyd, Governor of Vir- 
ginia, issued a patent to Larkin T. Ellison for 150 acres in Mercer 


County on Tom's Run, the waters of New River, which EllisoH 
conveyed to William Hughes and D. R. B. Greenelee, October 
10, 1853. 

And Henry A. Wise, Governor, issued a patent on the 12th day 
of May, 1858, for seventy-four acres to David Martin in Pipestem. 

And the said Henry A. Wise, as Governor of the Commonwealth 
of Virginia, on the 29th of June, 1845, issued his patent to William 
Phillips, for sixty-five acres on the waters of Two Mile Branch. 

Each of the fifteen last-named patents or grants were involved 
in the suit in equity of Sarah A. A. Gerow, plaintiff, against John 
R. Newkirk and others. They were each junior grants to the 
grant to a large tract of 2,050 acres, which she claimed. Her title 
came from the grant known as the Samuel McCraw patent. Mrs. 
Gerow was a descendant of Abram Owen, who made his last will 
in 1811, November 13th, by which he devised this tract to John 
and Ebenezer Owen, his two sons. Abram Owen was a New 
Yorker. John Owen died intestate and without issue, and the 
property came to Ebenezer and a sister, Mary Ann, who married 
Steven Newkirk. Ebenezer Owen died, leaving as his only children, 
Sarah A. A. and John, who conveyed his interest to his said sister, 
who married H. S. Gerow. Steven Newkirk died, leaving two 
children. John R. and William H., as his only heirs, and inherited 
one-fourth of said lands, and Mrs. Gerow the other three-fourths. 

Steven Newkirk moved on the land and took possession. He 
and his children sold off a large amount and made deeds to more 
than one-fourth of their interest. Mrs. Gerow and her ancestors 
lived in the East, and depended on them to look after it for their 
joint benefit. A large part of it was entered on by junior patentees, 
who took actual possession. 

Finally, John R. Newkirk had the land sold for the non-payment 
of taxes, and bought it in for his own benefit and for his brother, 
Wm. H., who took deed thereto, which was in March, 1875. 

In 1883, Mrs. Gerow and her husband came to this country to 
look after their inheritance, and discovered that it had apparently 
disappeared. A large part had been sold by the Newkirks, and 
another large part had been entered by junior patents, and the 
remainder of her title sold for taxes, and purchased by the New- 
kirks. She employed an attorney, James M. Malcolm, then prac- 
ticing law in Hinton, to institute and prosecute a suit for its re- 
covery. Every person who had title to any part of the land was 
made a party defendant, including W. D. Wyrick, Isaiah Rogers, 
John Cawley, Mary Blunt, Josephus Anderson, Joseph Heslip, John 


Williams, Henry Noble, O. J. Farley, H. W. Straley, L. W. Farley, 
Ira Hall, John A. Douglas, W. P. Rogers, Robert Elliott, Ellen 
Farley, wife of James Farley, James R. F'arley, Chas. A. Farley, 
Richard Campbell, Joseph E. Farley, Rufus Clark, Wm. D. Wyrick, 
David Martin, Henry Lilly, A. J. Bragg and others, who employed 
an attorney to defend them. Long litigation followed; additional 
attorneys were employed by Mrs, Gerow, including E. W. Knight, 
of Charleston, and Col. J. W. Davis, of Greenbrier County. 

Finally a decree was entered, by which Mrs. Gerow recovered 
her three-fourths, less those lands which had been entered by junior 
patents. The tax deed was set aside and held void, and the lands 
sold to the extent of one-fourth of the Newkirk's interest. Commis- 
sioners were appointed to make partition, composed of Wm. B. 
Wiggins, John P. Duncan, and Lewis A. Shanklin, who filed their 
report, and out of the whole 2,500 acre patent she recovered 800, 
largely in small and detached tracts. Only one or two of the de- 
fendants lost, John A. Williams being the only one except one of 
the Halls. 

Mrs. Gerow still resides in Hinton, and has not sold any of the 
land. She is a lady of accomplishments and of fine business attain- 
ments, and has accumulated a handsome fortune, in some of the 
best real estate in the city. Her husband, Henry S. Gerow, a very 
worthy gentleman, died several years ago. W^hen the yards were 
about to be removed from Hinton, Mrs. Gerow contributed $100.00 
towards purchasing the upper Hinton land, which shows her patri- 
otism towards the town. 

James Wood, Governor of Virginia, granted to Mathias Kis- 
singer, on the 8th day of August, 1799, 350 acres of land on Green- 
brier River, just below Greenbrier Springs (Barger's), where An- 
drew L. Campbell now lives. Kissinger's Run, which runs through 
the lower end of this place, was named after this grantee. A part 
of the second house ever built on this land is still standing, and is 
a hewed poplar log house, with a stone chimney 7x10 feet, and 
wood can be burned in it seven feet long. The house is known to 
be over 100 years old. But three corner trees are standing on this 
grant; one large oak on the bank of the river was cut by A. L. 
Campbell in January, 1905, and the growths, which he counted care- 
fully, showed the tree to be over 320 years old. The tree was 
entirely dead, but perfectly sound, and had been for several years, 
and was cut by Mr. Campbell to save the stump for a corner. 

John Page, Esquire, Governor of the Commonwealth of Vir- 
ginia, issued his patent to David Graham and William Graham for 


284 acres, by survey bearing date the 19th day of November, 1798, 
and the patent issued on the 19th of January, 1800, and is for a 
tract of land lying and being in the county of Greenbrier on the 
south side of the Greenbrier River on Blue Lick Run, joining the 
lands of William Graham. John Lockridge and John Canterberry. 
This is the Blue Lick that now runs by Greenbrier Springs, and 
the land therein described is now owned by Mrs. N. M. Bacon. 
This, with a number of other old patents, including the "Chattin" 
or "Mathews" place at Talcott, are in her possession in a fine state 
of preservation. She also has the Polly Graham patent, at which 
Bacon's Mill is situate, all preserved by Mr. Robert C. Bacon, who 
seems to have been scrupulously careful in the collection and pres- 
ervation of his land title papers, an example followed by his son, 
Nathaniel, and which might, with profit, be followed by a great 
many others at this day and time. 

On the 22d day of April, 1788, Edmund Rudolph, Governor, also 
issued his grant by patent to Benjamin Pollard, assignee of Henry 
Banks, for 2,500 acres, by survey bearing date of the 8th day of 
March, 1786, and in the twelfth year of the Commonwealth of 
Virginia, by virtue of Land Office Treasury Warrants No. 21,563 
and No. 16,055, of the 8th day of May, 1783. This is described as 
being in Greenbrier County on Bradshaw's Run, a branch of Indian 
Creek, which is a branch of New River, and adjoining a survey 
made for William Bradshaw. This survey is in Forest Hill District 
and is cut up and now occupied by innumerable little farms, by 
thrifty, independent and well-to-do citizens. 

The noted ejectment case of Turner vs. Hutchinson was over 
lands included in these Pollard patents, the Turners claiming under 
the 1,390-acre patent, and the Hutchinsons under the 2,500-acre 
patent. One trial was had and a hung jury resuUcd. and later a 
compromise was effected, each party paying his own costs. There 
is one long line between the surveys of four miles. A fine map of 
these surveys was made by Hon. William Haynes, who was ap- 
pointed to execute an order of survey. It is a very handsome piece 
of draftsmanship. It is now in the liands of Mr. A. M. Hutchinson, 
of Forest Hill. 

There is also in the hands of the M. E. Church trustees at Forest 
Hill a deed dated the 19th day of October, 1835, from John H. Vaw- 
ter and Clara S., his wife, and Allen T. Caperton and Harriet, his 
wife, to Georsre W. Hutchinson, Alexander Bvrneside and Peter 
Minner, Henry Maggart. John Thomas, Richard McNeer, William 
Arnett, David Pancoast and Jacob Cook, trustees for the uses and 


trust, conveying to them one acre of ground between Spruce Run, a 
branch of Greenbrier River, and Bradshaw's Run, a branch of Indian 
Creek, on which was to be erected a house of worship to be held 
according to the uses of the members, ministers and conference of 
the Methodist Church of the United States of America, and it 
provided for the selection of a new trustee when one shall die, by 
vote of the members, after being nominated by the preacher in 
charge, each voter to be twenty-one years of age, and nine trustees 
to be maintained forever, the preacher to cast the deciding vote in 
all cases of a tie of the votes. This is an ancient and interesting 
document. The Pollard survey had been sold and one-half con- 
veyed to said Caperton and Vawter, who were then owners, under 
a decree of the court of Petersburg. Va., where it seems the Pollard 
heirs resided, and had a decree' entered directing a sale of the prop- 
erty. This is an ancient deed for church property, and there is a 
Methodist Church still maintained on this lot — probably the first 
frame church built in the territory of the county. There is also 
an ancient graveyard on this grant, and a monument to the gallant 
Confederate soldier, Mike Foster, will soon be erected nearby by 
the old comrades of this brave man, who have formed the Mike 
Foster Monument Association, of which Allen Ellison is treasurer; 
I. G. Garden, Richard McNeer, Theodore Webb, W. L. Foster and 
others are interested. 

This deed was acknowledged before two justices of the peace, 
Robert Coalter and Conrad Peters, without dates. 

There is another old land grant of a large boundary of land in 

that district granted to Watkins, and which is also divided 

up into small boundaries owned by independent citizen farmers. 
Allen F. Brown lives on this patented land. 

The Bradshaw claim included the lands where Thomas G. 
Lowe, O. C. Fleshman, Albert Bolton and others now live. Brad- 
shaw built a cabin near where Thomas G. Lowe now lives, and was 
killed by the Indians. 

The Boardman patent covered all the region of the Little Wolf 
Creek country, and contained 9,800 acres, all of which, like all 
other patents of any size, has been divided up and is owned by 
great numbers of farmers. The Boardman patent, the Watkins 
patent and the Pollard patent have a common corner, as shown on 
the Haynes map, at a white oak and a chestnut, and the Pollard 
and Boardman patents run from that point to "Wikel's" peach 
orchard, four miles together as a common line to two poplars. 

The oldest land paper I have been able to see is dated February 


1, 1781, issued by Thomas Jefferson, who was "then Governor of 
Virginia, by virtue of a survey of the 6th day of May, 1772, and 
was for sixty-five acres in Botetourt County. 

The land on the opposite side of Greenbrier River at Talcott, 
the Chatting and Bacon farms, was owned by Jeptha Massy, the 
patent bearing date August 15, 1794, and was issued by Henry Lee, 
then Governor of Virginia. Jeptha Massy and his wife moved from 
the eastern shore of Maryland to Keezletown, Virginia, and from 
there to Greenbrier County, and from thence to lands above men- 
tioned, and raised Lhe following named children : Reuben, Moses, 
Jeptha, Henry, John and Jonathan, and Hanna, Lana and Navagal, 

Moses Massy was one of the scouts who, on foot with General 
Lewis, made the trip from Point Pleasant through the wilderness 
to notify the people of the Indian marauders, and that they should 
go into the forts at Lewisburg. Later, this land passed to David 
Mathews, the father-in-law of Chas. K. Rollyson. The scouts ar- 
rived at Lewisburg only a few hours before the Indians, and were 
so exhausted from traveling night and day that, arriving at the fort, 
they dropped on the first beds they came to. 

Jeptha Massy built the house now resided in by Mrs. George W. 
Chattin. He and his wife resided there, and at their death were 
buried m the cemetery at Barger's Springs. 

Jonathan Massy came from Philadelphia to Greenbrier County, 
on Muddy Creek, to the Jarretts, to whom he was related. He 
married Hanna Massy, a daughter of Jeptha, and lived and died in 
the present Chattin house, leaving three boys, David, George and 
Alfred, and the following named girls : Margaret, Sarah, Susan, 
Nancy, Laney, Eliza and Miriam J. Miriam J. Massy was the 
grandmother of Nat. Bacon, who now lives near Talcott. She 
married Jacob Fluke, who came to that county from Botetourt 
County, Virginia. He was born in Hagerstown, Maryland. They 
raised four children, William Campbell Fluke, who was killed in 
the fight at Fisher's Llill, Virginia, and was buried at Newmarket. 
Virginia ; George Abraham Fluke, who died from typhoid pneu- 
monia, contracted in the army; John Shanon Fluke, who died of 
consumption, and both were buried at Barger's Springs. Jacob 
Fluke and his wife are also buried at Barger's Springs. Miss Nancy 
Mathews Fluke was the only daughter of Jacob Fluke, and she 
married Robert Carter Bacon, who came to that region on the 23d 
of November, 1853. They were married June 8, 1858. They raised 
two children, Nathaniel Bacon and Mary Jane Bacon. The latter 


died at maturity in New Mexico, where she had gone for her health. 
Robert C. Bacon is buried at Barger's Springs. He was a man of 
strong intellect and personality, enterprising and farseeing. He 
built the present Bacon's Mill. At the time of the agitation of the 
question of secession of the Southern States he was a strong seces- 
sionist and a violent partisan of the South, believing in the rights 
of secession under the Constitution. 


James Welch patented many thousand acres of land in the 
lower end of Mercer and in Pipestem District. This land was 
acquired by Joseph Mandeville by purchase. Mandeville devised 
by will this tract to John West. John West was a bastard son of 
Joseph Mandeville. He lived all of his life in Alexandria, Vir- 
ginia, and died there. He, once in a while, came out and looked 
over his lands in Pipestem, which have been known for many 
years as the West lands. He died, devising the land to Vandalia 
West, and H. O. Cloughton, trustee, held the title for a number of 
years. He was a lawyer in Washington City. Finally he died, 
and the land was conveyed to John E. Reubsam, a doctor in Wash- 
ington, who was unable to keep the taxes paid, and about 1902 
the land was sold and purchased by Kelsoe & Dickey and Robert 
Jenkins, Jr., of Pittsburg. It amounted to about 4,500 acres when 
last sold, consisting of many small tracts, the original patent of 
28.000 acres having been reduced by sale of small tracts until about 
4,500 acres was the remainder, scattered over a large part of the 
district. \A"elch also had a patent in Raleigh and Wyoming of 
90,000 acres. He devised 10,000 acres to Ellen Mandeville, a natu- 
ral daughter, who afterwards married a Smith, and 10,000 acres 
to Joseph Mandeville, his nephew, and the balance to the said 
natural son, John West. Joseph Mandeville was said to have been 
a direct descendant of Lord Chief Justice Mandeville, of England. 
His nephew, Joseph, lived in AVyoming County on Clear Fork. 
His descendants were unable to maintain the taxes, a considerable 
part of the tract was sold in small parcels, and his descendants 
finally removed to Forest Hill District, where Cleo Mandeville 
died in LX)6, nearly one hundred years old. She received a pen- 
sion from the United States Government as a widow of a soldier 
of 1812. her husband having been a soldier in that war. Her son, 
J. W. Mandeville, still lives at Mandeville Post Office. John West 


lived to be an old man and was a wealthy man, especially in real 
estate and wild lands. West sold his Raleigh lands in 1868, and 
the land is now known as the Maben and Hotchkiss tract, now 
owned by the Western Pocahontas Coal & Lumber Company. 
West died in 1872. 



In other chapters of this narrative I have given the result of 
elections in this county from its organization to the 1st of January, 
1873. I shall, therefore, not in this chapter repeat those results, 
but shall proceed with the next succeeding election, which was 
held on the 13th day of August, 1875, and coming down to the 
present time, with such details as are material and of public no- 
toriety as they may occur to us. 

Conventions and elections in the county have generally been 
fair and without fraud. The election officers have always been 
universally and scrupulously honest and fair, with the exceptions 
detailed. In the tirst elections in the county the pernicious and 
corrupting influence of the dollar was unknown. Its use and in- 
fluence in this county can easily be remembered by citizens now 
living who have taken an interest in public affairs. When the 
writer made his first race for election of county superintendent of 
free schools, in the year 1882, his actual outlay in cash was $2.50, 
paid for horse hire, and no money was used on behalf of either can- 
didate. One of the writer's friends, ex-Sherifif Wm. S. Lilly, told 
him after the election of having given a constituent a peck of seed 
potatoes to pay for his time to induce him to go to the polls. 

The use of money first began in the payment of incidental nec- 
essary expenses, and they were originally economical, and such a 
thing as campaign funds was unknown, but at this day an election 
is not expected to be held without a campaign fund, and out of the 
application of this fund by the parties controlling it have grown 
some strenuous charges and counter allegations by some of our 
politicians of the present generation. 

The use of money and campaign funds in elections is an East- 
ern innovation more dangerous to the welfare and perpetuity 
of the republic and purity of the government and the liberties of 
the great masses of people than any other dangers conceived 
that may threaten or are likely to threaten the existence of the 

Baptist Church. 




present Republican Government of this country — more so than the 
Ku KIux Klans, Force Bills or military sapervision. Without it 
bossism would not be possible. Leaders are necessary for all polit- 
ical parties, but the difference between the leaders and the legitimate 
application and the boss is as wide as the pirate of the sea is from 
the legitimate merchantman. 

The campaign funds in this county for the Democratic party 
are practically all provided by the local candidates, and for the 
Republican party by the State Committee. This county has never 
been corrupted nor felt the corrupting influence of money, as is 
charged, and, no doubt, truthfully, in other counties and sections; 
but in the last few campaigns the candidates and committees have 
learned that the boodler is in the land, and it is a surprising fact 
that there are many men now in this county who swarm after can- 
didates for money as a buzzard after a dead carcass. The thirst 
for the "boodle money" with a certain class of our citizens has 
grown and developed in individuals as a disease grows into the 
animal system. But it is not the majority, and it is not our intelli- 
gent or influential citizens or better class of the citizens who are 
out for "boodle" or sale, and the better or influential citizens of 
both parties look down on the "boodler" as dangerous to his neigh- 
bor and his property, as well as dangerous to his country and his 
government, and is despised as a "varmint" that has to be borne. 
If the "boodler" and the "grafter" could feel the utter contempt in 
which they are held by their neighbors and the public; if they had 
the respect of a degenerate, they would hide themsehes in shame. 

It is also a remarkable fact that there are a number of voters 
who will dog a candidate, demand money and pay for his vote and 
influence. They do not appreciate the dishonor and degradation 
of his acts, and the candidate can not si)urn them, because he needs 
their aid. They do not appreciate the moral degeneracy involved 
in the sale of their suffrage. Men will demand money for their 
vote and influence who have property, who arc above want, and 
who are in ordinary business afifairs honest and responsible for their 
debts, and pay their liabilities. 

There is another class who take the money from both candi- 
dates and from both parties, violate all promises, and still hol<l up 
their hands in holy horror at ordinary violations of the criminal 
law — pretending to be Christians, moralists, members of the Chris- 
tian Church, and claim their neighbor is not so good as themselves. 
These boodlers and this class of citizens are a stigma and a dis- 


grace to any community, and are dangerous to the government, 
as much so as the highwayman, and more so, for they make no 
claim to morality. 

Fortunately, this county has been infested with only a small 
proportion of this class of venal and corrupt citizens, and the use 
of money has had but little influence in the general result, although 
it has been so charged and accredited to a much greater extent 
than true ; no doubt the charges being made in good faith under 
such honest belief of the parties making the assertions, but the 
vvriter has for the last twenty years been in a position to know, 
having been more or less actually engaged in all political fights for 
himself or his friends, and he knows whereof and doth write truth- 

The life of the candidate, however, under existing conditions at 
this time in this county is made miserable, as well as the parties in 
charge of the respective organizations. The legitimate expenses 
of the campaigns have greatly increased — the employment of speak- 
ers, "spellbinders," conveyances, brass bands, hiring halls, buying 
badges, literature, etc., so that the party managers are kept busy try- 
ing to make both ends meet without the application of funds to the 
corruption of the voters and the elections. The voter who will sell 
his vote or his influence should be disfranchised ; and the time will 
come when public sentiment will become so strong that that char- 
acter of legislation will be enacted, and the hunter for "boodle 
money'" will hide himself in shame from the face of the earth. 

The first election held in the county not heretofore detailed was 
en the 13th dav of August, 1875. which was for school oflficers. 
C. L. Ellison, of Forest Hill District, w^as elected superintendent 
of free schools, and held that position for tvvo years, that being the 
term of that ofiice at that time. He executed bond, with James Boyd 
as surety, and took office on the first day of January, 1876. 

The next general election was the historical campaign of 1876, 
in which Samuel J. Tilden was the Democratic candidate for Presi- 
dent, and is claimed to this day to have been elected by the Demo- 
crats, and Rutherford B. Hayes, the Republican candidate, who was 
declared elected, and held the office for four years. Elbert Fowler 
was elected prosecuting attorney; Wm. S. Lilly was elected sheriff, 
with I. G. Garden as his deputy. Mr. Lilly executed bond, with 
R. G. Lilly, Joseph Lilly, Wm. H. Lilly, James E. Foster, James 
Graham and John G. Grockett for the general fund, in the penalty 
of $40,000. To cover the school fund he gave bond in the penalty of 


$25,000, with J. A. Parker, R. C. Lilly and I. G. Garden as sureties. 
John Lilly, known as "Item John," or "Gentleman John," was 
elected assessor; Dr. Benj. P. Gooch, of Hinton, was elected to the 

We are unable to give the results from this election from the 
fact that no records were made. The returns, along with the bal- 
lots, were required to be sealed up and held by the clerks for one 
year, and then destroyed. No nominations were made, or, if any, 
it was only for a candidate for the Legislature. The opposition to 
Wm. S. Lilly for sheriff was composed of James H. Bledsoe, of 
Green Sulphur Springs, who ran for that office at this election, 
with Wm. P. Hinton for his deputy. S. W. Willey was also a 
candidate, with C. L. Miller for his deputy, each candidate running 
■independently. At the preceding election, when Evan Hinton was 
a candidate for sheriff, Joseph Ellis ran with him for deputy; S. W. 
Willey was the opposing candidate, who ran with John K. Withrow 
for his deputy. 

The next election was in the year 1877, for county superintend- 
ent of free schools again. The candidates were D. G. Lilly, of 
Jumping Branch, and Rufus Deeds, and possibly some one else, 
whose name at this time I am unable to ascertain. Mr. Lilly was 
elected and took office for two years, on the first day of January, 

The next regular and general election was in 1880, and, so far 
as I am able to ascertain, there were no nominations except for 
the Legislature. Dr. B. P. Gooch was again elected in 1878 for the 
Legislature, being elected for two successive terms as a Democrat. 
In 1880, the Democratic candidate for President was W. S. Han- 
cock against U. S. Grant, Republican, and the results of this elec- 
tion, as stated for those previous, we are unable to ascertain. The 
following named gentlemen were elected: Wm. R. Thompson, for 
prosecuting attorney; the majority I am unal)le to state. He and 
Elbert Fowler were the respective candidates, neither being nomi- 
nated. The campaign was active and vigorous and the result very 
close, the returns showing Mr. Thompson elected by a small ma- 
jority. A contest was instituted by Mr. Fowler before the county 
court, which decided against him. He appealed to the Supreme 
Court of Appeals, Judge James H. Ferguson representing him in 
that court, Mr. Thompson being represented by Judge Adam C. 
Snyder. The Supreme Court of Appeals reversed the judgment of 
the county court, and required it to canvass the votes, open the 


ballots and proceed to determine the results by hearing the evi- 
dence as to any frauds or irregularities alleged. 

The court proceeded to open the ballots and re-count the vote 
at New Richmond, in which a change of six or seven votes were 
made in favor of Fowler, also the vote from Jumping Branch re- 
counted, the result in that district remaining unchanged, except 
as to one or two votes. The court adjourned, took a recess, and, 
during the noon hour, the friends of the contestants got together and 
compromised, with the agreement that Air. Thompson should hold 
the office for the remainder of the term, about half of the term 
having alread}^ expired, and he pay Mr. Fowler $500.00 and the 
costs of the contest. As I remember, it was not expected by the 
parties, after they got into the contest, to go into the vote at Tal- 
cott precinct — not that it would change the result between Thomp- 
son and Fowler, but because there were possible irregularities at 
that voting place which would change the result as to the member 
of the Legislature, the face of the returns showing N. ]\I. Lowry 
elected b}' less than ten votes, which w^as claimed and is possiblv 
true, that if the facts had been known, there were sufficient irregu- 
larities to have changed the result, and shown the election of Jona- 
than Lillv. 


This agreement, made and entered into this 20th day of Sep- 
tember, 1883, by and between Elbert Fowler, of the first part, and 
W. R. Thompson and B. Prince, his surety, of the second part, 
witnesseth, That whereas, there is now pending in the County 
Court of Sumimers County, State of West Virginia, a case contest- 
ing the election for the office of prosecuting attorney for said 
county, for the term commencing on the 1st day of January, 1881, 
to w^hich said Fowler is plaintiff and contestant, and said Thomp- 
son is defendant and contestor. Now, therefore, the said Fowler 
hereby agrees and binds himself to dismiss and discontinue said 
case and disclaim any further right, title or interest to said office 
or to the salary, fees or emoluments thereof for the term aforesaid. 
In consideration whereof, the parties of the second, as principal 
and surety aforesaid, hereby agree and bind themselves to pay to 
said Fowler, on or before the 1st day of July, 1882 the sum of five 
hundred dollars, which sum, however, shall be liable to the extent 
of and there shall be deducted therefrom all payments made, or 


that may hereafter be made by said Thompson, of costs and dam- 
ages in the prosecution of said case, in the county and circuit court 
of said county and the Supreme Court of Appeals of said State. 

Witness the following signatures and seals, the day and year 


No contest was made as to any ofifice, however, except as to 
prosecuting attorney, and it was impossible to go behind the 
returns as to the vote on candidates for House of Delegates, unless 
there had been a contest. Mr. Lilly was urged to make a contest, 
but declined to do so, and from the information I have received 
from reliable sources, I have no doubt that Jonathan Lilly was 
honestly elected to that office, although filled by N. M. Lowry, his 
opponent. Lowry was the Democratic candidate, and Lilly was 
the Independent Greenback candidate. I was not a voter at that 
time, but I remember very distinctly the charges of fraud. 

In the campaign of 1882 for House of Delegates between Hon. 
S. W. Willey and Captain A. A. Miller, a strong effort was made 
to prove that Mr. Willey was not in good faith a Republican, 
E. H. Peck, W. W. Adams and Dr. B. P. Gooch filing statements 
and affidavits that he was in the convention that nominated Dr. 
Gooch for House of Delegates, and took a part and voted therein. 
Mr. Peck also gave a statement that he took part in the Democratic 
Convention of 1876 ; that he attended the Congressional convention 
of 1876 as a Democrat. Politics were hot in those days, and each 
partisan contested vigorously his party interests, Mr. Willey deny- 
ing that he was ever a Democrat. Personalities were not indulged 
in, and after the elections the candidates were usually friends. Mr. 
Willey had been a very active, energetic man, was a fine cam- 
paigner, and when he became a candidate, it was generally recog- 
nized that a fight was on. He was then, as now, an astute and 
ingenious politician. It was charged as one of the grounds against 
his receiving Republican support that Mr. Willey took part in the 
organization of the Democratic party in 1871 at Pisgah Church with 
■ N. M. Lowery, and that he was duly elected a delegate to the Con- 
gressional Convention at the old church on New River, and it was 
charged by these partisans that he was secretary of the last Demo- 
cratic Convention prior to 1882, all of wliicli was vigorously denied 


and repudiated by Mr. Willey and his friends, who ran ahead of 
his ticket in this race and always, which demonstrates the folly of 
personalities in politics, and he was never, except in two instances, 
defeated by as many as 100 votes. 


I am unable to give the entire results of this election. There 
were party nominations made for the first time for all county offices, 
except for prosecuting attorney. 

J. G. Crockett was the Democratic nominee for House of Dele- 
gates, and J.' C. James, Republican candidate. Crockett received 
964 votes; James, 864; W. S. Lilly, the Democratic candidate for 
sheriff, received 967 votes ; M. V. Calloway, Independent candidate 
for sheriff, received 1,118 votes; B. L. Hoge, Democratic nominee 
for clerk of the circuit court, received 1,276 votes; Wm. B. Wig- 
gins, 784; E. H. Peck, Democratic candidate for county clerk, 
received 1,231 votes; J. C. Woodson, 871; W. H. Boude, Demo- 
cratic candidate for assessor, 981 votes ; W. C. Dobbins, Republi- 
can, 1,097; M. Smith, Democratic candidate for surveyer, received 
1,130 votes; Joseph Keaton, Republican, 946. There was no nomi- 
nation for the office of prosecuting attorney, there being no Repub- 
lican lawyer in the county. Wm. R. Thompson and James H. 
Miller made a scrub race, Miller receiving 993 votes; Thompson, 
964 votes, Miller's majority being 29. 


Cleveland was the Democratic candidate for President ; Har- 
rison was the Republican candidate for President. Cleveland's vote 
was 1,353; Harrison's, 1,272, making a Democratic majority for 
President of 81. A. N. Campbell was elected judge of the circuit 
court, his vote being 1,367, vs. J. M. McWhorter, Republican, 
whose vote w^as 1,267. J. W. Johnson was the Democratic nominee 
for the Legislature, and received 1,347 votes; W. C. Dobbins, the 
Republican nominee, received 1,259 votes; James H. Miller, Demo- 
cratic nominee for prosecuting attorney, received 1,613 votes; 
T. G. Mann, Republican nominee, received 993 votes; O. T. Kesler, 
Democratic nominee for sheriif, received 1,344 votes; S. W. Willey, 
1,265; W. H. Boude, Democratic nominee for assessor, 1,337; J. F. 
Ellison, Republican, 1,279; J. E. Harvey, Democratic nominee for 
assessor, 1,341; Joseph Cox, Republican, 1,237. 



The election of 1890 was an off year. The Democrats nomi- 
nated E. H. Peck for clerk of the county court; B. L. Hoge, clerk 
of the circuit court; G. -\V. Heclrick, commissioner of the county 
court; W. R. Thompson, delegate to the Legislature. The Repub- 
licans nominated M. V. Calloway for the Legislature; E. L. Dunn 
for clerk of the county court ; J. C. Woodson for clerk of the circuit 
court, and Joseph Nowlin for commissioner of the county court. 
The Democrats carried the county. Wm. R. Thompson received 
a majority of 443; E. H. Peck, a majority of 350; B. L. Hoge, 397; 
George W. Hedrick, 2)?>7. 

The question of wet and dry cut some, figure in the election of 
commissioner of the county court, Mr. Nowlin being understood to 
be against license, while Mr. Hedrick was for license. It was quite 
an aggressive campaign, both parties making a vigorous fight, and 
circulars and correspondence in the newspapers were resorted to. 


This was an exceedingly active campaign. Grover Cleveland 
made his third race for President on the Democratic ticket, re- 
ceiving 1,632 votes; Benjamin Plarrison was the Republican candi- 
date, and received 1,273 votes; James B. Weaver was the Populist 
candidate for President, receiving 38 votes; Bidwell was the Pro- 
hibition candidate, receiving 23 votes; Wm. A. McCorkle was the 
Democratic nominee for Governor, and received 1,639 votes; Thos. 
E. Davis was the Republican candidate, and received 1.239 votes; 
B. P. Shumate was the Democratic candidate for House of Dele- 
gates, he receiving 1,631 votes; L. G. Lowe was the Republican 
candidate, and received 1,126 votes; J. J. Christian was the Demo- 
cratic candidate for cominissioner of the county court, and received 
1,532 votes; John W^ Allen was the Republican candidate, and 
received 1.356 votes; Harrison Gwinn was the Democratic candi- 
date for sheriff, and received 1,624 votes; Jos. Nowlin was the' 
Republican candidate for sheriff, and received 1,286 votes; James 
H. Miller was the Democratic candidate for prosecuting attorney, 
and received 1,698 votes; Thos. G. Mann was the Republican can- 
didate for that office, and received 1,187 votes; John E. Harvey 
was the Democratic candidate for surveyor, receiving 1,639 votes, 
and James B. Lavender, Republican candidate, received \^62> votes; 


Walter H. Boude, Democratic candidate for assessor, received 
1,638 votes; and Wm. H. DeQuaisie, Republican candidate, re- 
ceived 1,279 votes. , 

There was in this year a very strenuous race between Wm. R. 
Thompson, for the Democratic nomination for prosecuting attor- 
ney, and James H. Aliller. On the day conventions were held by 
district meetings called at one place in each district, where the 
voters assembled, and the choice of the voters taken by vote, usu- 
ally by division.' Miller received in the primaries throughout the 
county, outside of Greenbrier District, 250 majority. At the court 
house there was great excitement, the brass bands being out, the 
partisan spirit running high, with very decided aggressiveness 
amongst the friends of both candidates. Thompson and Miller 
held a conference, and 'agreed to divide the vote equally in the 
district, which was accordingly done ; they also agreed to select 
delegates to the various other conventions themselves, each select- 
ing an equal number, so that the matters were amicably adjusted 
between the two factions. 


In the campaign of this year Hon. B. P. Shumate was the Demo- 
cratic candidate for Legislature again, and received 1,352 votes; 
M. J. Cook was the Republican candidate, and received 1,393 votes; 
W. W. Withrow was the Democratic candidate for superintendent 
of free schools, and received 1,348 votes; Geo. W. Leftwich was the 
Republican candidate, and received 1,427 votes; James A. Graham 
was the Republican candidate for the commissioner of the county 
court, receiving 1,511 votes, and J. A. Parker, the Democratic can- 
didate, receiving 1.213 votes; Jos. L. Witt, Populist candidate for 
Legislature, receiving 41 votes ; John D. Alderson being the Demo- 
cratic candidate for Congress voted for at this election, and re- 
ceiving 1,383 votes; James H. Pluling being the Republican can- 
didate, and receiving 1,366 votes; Samuel A. Houston, Populist, 
receiving 48 votes; Jos. D. Logan, Democratic candidate for State 
Senate, 1,378; Thos. P. Davis, Republican, 1,374 votes. 

The Republicans elected each of its candidates and carried the 
county Republican for the first time, as well as the last time in its 
history, and was a great surprise and astonishment to the Demo- 
crats, who had two years previously carried the county by some- 
thing like 400 majority. The dissatisfaction at the Cleveland second 
administration and the good-sized campaign fund furnished to the 


Republicans by Senator S. B. Elkins contributed to the overthrow 
of the Democratic party at this election. 

A good deal of amusement and some practical jokes were de- 
rived from this campaign. J. J. Swope, now editor of the "Wyo- 
ming Mountaineer," a newspaper, was very active on behalf of 
the Republican ticket. Signs were found posted around town on 
the morning of the election, caricaturing Mr. Swope, and oif one 
occasion his office was invaded, a dummy prepared and set up at 
his table, representing the judge preparing an important legal docu- 
ment, with pen in its hand, in deep study. A box of campaign 
liquor was eliminated therefrom, and disposed of by the Democratic 
campaigners. Col. Swope secured a large box of long-bottled 
spirits from his protege, Hon. T. P. Davis, the Republican candi- 
date for State Senate, who was elected in the district, largely due 
to Col. Swope's persistent and energetic efforts in his behalf. 


W. J. Bryan, the Democratic candidate for President, received 
1,739 votes; Wm. McKinley, Republican, received 1,600 votes; 
Weaver, on the Populist ticket, received eight votes ; Levering, 
Prohibitionist, received sixteen votes ; C. C. Watts, Democratic 
candidate for Governor, 1,743 votes; G. W. Atkinson. Republican 
candidate for Governor, 1,600 votes; A. N. Campbell, for judge of 
the circuit court, 1,728 votes; J. M. McWhorter. 1.620 votes; Dr. 
J. T. Hume, for Legislature, received 1,713 votes; Jonathan Lilly. 
1,699, Mr. Lilly being the same candidate who ran for the Legis- 
lature against N. M. Lowry many years before, and. as Greenback 
candidate, receiving the Republican and Greenback vote : James 
H. George, for sheriff, received 1,736 votes; S. \\\ \\'illey. Repub- 
lican candidate for sheriff', received 1,610; \\\ H. Boudc. Demo- 
cratic candidate for clerk of the circuit court, received 1,750 votes; 
L. M. Peck, Republican candidate, 1.588; J. M. Ayres, Democratic 
candidate for clerk of the county court, received 1.810 votes; M. V. 
Calloway, Republican candidate for clerk of the county court, 
received 1,544 votes; James H. Miller, Democratic candidate for 
prosecuting attorney, received 1,828 votes; J. A. Oldfield. Repub- 
lican candidate for prosecuting attorney, received 1.578 votes; 
J. H. Maddy, Democratic candidate for assessor, received 1,735 
votes; C. L. Woodrum, Republican candidate for assessor, received 
1,603 votes; A. L. Campbell, Democratic candidate for surveyor, 
received 1,730 votes; J. B. Lavender, Republican candidate for 


surveyor, received 1,599 votes; Joseph Lilly, Democratic candidate 
for commissioner of the county court, received 1,787 votes; W. G. 
Barger, Republican candidate, received 1,559 votes; thus the county 
came back to its Democratic moorings, electing each of its candi- 
dates by small majorities, as will be observed. 

J. A. Oldfield, the Republican candidate for prosecuting attor- 
ney, was a young lawyer who had located in the county about two 
years before, and was editor of the "Hinton Republican." He was 
supported in this race by Mr. Frank Lively, who was then aligned 
with the Democratic party. The question of "wet and dry" again 
was an issue between the candidates for commissioner of the county 
court. The campaign was an extremely active one by all candi- 
dates, as well as the respective committees, one of the features of 
the campaign being the Republican candidates for county offices, 
consisting of Messrs. Jonathan Lilly, L. M. Peck, J. B. Lavender 
and J. A. Oldfield, who got together and went throughout the 
county, holding meetings, advertised in advance. They would go 
from schoolhouse to schoolhouse, and at the meetings at night 
would each make speeches, have a revival, and then proceed the 
next day to the next appointment. Some amusing incidents have 
been told the writer by these candidates concerning their cam- 
paign tour. It was especially novel to L. M. Peck, it being his 
first campaign experience. 

This was the great campaign of the Free Silver and the Gold 
standard, the special feature being the great fight made by the 
Chesapeake & Ohio Railway Company for the Republican ticket, 
from president to constable, led in this county by Mr. J. W. Knapp, 
division sviperintendent, who had, prior to that time, claimed to 
have been a Democrat. The president of the road, Mr. M. E. In- 
galls, was brought here on two occasions, made speeches to the 
employees at the opera house, and one on the baseball campus; 
was driven through the town in a chariot and four, followed by 
many horsemen and footmen, carrying banners and flags, an ex- 
ceedingly strenuous efifort being made to carry this county for the 
Republican or Gold Standard ticket. The Democrats were ex- 
ceedingly patriotic, enthusiastic, and especially those of the railway 
laborers, who believed in the Democratic cause, and that of Free 
Silver; who stood to their guns regardless of the great pressure 
brought by the head of the railway company. While the country 
went Republican, largely, securing the election of Major McKinley, 
it was a matter of great pride and rejoicing to the local Democracy 
that they saved Summers County from the wreck, under the cir- 


cumstances. Delegations of voters were furnished free transpor- 
tation and, a great number of them visited Major McKinley, the 
Republican candidate, at Canton, Ohio, without money or pay. 


This was another off year. Judge David E. Johnston, the Demo- 
cratic candidate for Congress, received 1,572 votes; Wm. Seymour 
Edwards, Republican, 1,276; Hon. C. W. Osenton, Democratic 
candidate for State Senate, received 1,574 votes; C. J. Andrews, 
Republican, 1,278 votes B. P. Shumate, Democratic candidate for 
House of Delegates, 1,584 votes; M. J. Cook, Republican, 1,258; 
J. J. Christian, Democratic candidate for commissioner of the county 
court, 1,552 votes; Joseph Nowlin, Republican, 1,253 votes; H. F. 
Kesler, Democratic candidate for county superintendent of free 
schools, 1,598 votes; D. G. Wiseman, Republican, 1,241 votes. 

This was the second race made by Hon. B. P. Shumate against 
Hon. M. J. Cook, Mr. Cook having defeated Mr. Shumate in 1894. 
They again made the race in 1898, in which Mr. Shumate defeated 
Mr. Cook, this being the third race Mr. Shumate had made for the 
office, and which position he filled for two terms acceptably to his 
constituents. Judge David E. Johnston was elected to Congress over 
Mr. Edwards, although the district was largely Republican. This 
Congressional campaign was conducted by James H. ^Miller, as 
chairman of the Democratic Congressional Committee, and for the 
success of Judge Johnston, and he received many compliments from 
his political associates and from the Democratic press throughout 
the State, which, no doubt, largely contributed to his nomination 
for Auditor of the State at a later date. 

At this election, C. W. Garten, Democrat, was elected president 
of the Board of Education of Forest Hill District, over J. A. Wood- 
rum, Republican, by 34 majority; M. R. Wickline, Republican, for 
member of the Board of Education from that district, was elected 
over Rev. W. F. Hank, Democrat, by a majority of three. In Green- 
brier District, Howard Templeton, editor of the "Independent Her- 
ald," Democrat, received 548 votes, over William M. Puckett, Re- 
publican, who received 421 votes ; for member of the Board of Edu- 
cation of that district, A. E. Miller, Democrat, received 567 votes, 
over James E. Meadows, Republican, who received 395 votes, Mil- 
ler's majority being 172. In Green Sulphur District, for president of 
the Board of Education, John II. Tincher, Republican candidate, 
received 224 votes, against 175 for E. W. Duncan, Democrat. Tinch- 


er's majority being 49. For member of the Board of Education, 
John A. Cales, RepubHcan, received 211 votes to 190, by John A. 
George, Democrat, Cales's majority being 21. This district has been 
in the habit of giving a large Republican majority for many years. 

New Richmond, Brooks and Meadow Creek precincts are Re- 
publican, while Green Sulphur precinct is always Democratic, 
Brooks precinct being very close, sometimes a tie. and sometimes 
one or two majority for the Democrats, and sometimes one or two 
majority for the Republicans. 

In Pipestem District, for president of the Board of Education, 
B. D. Trail. Democrat, received 206 votes, and had no opposition 
for member of the Board of Education ; E. E. Angell, Democrat, 
received 199 votes, to 101 for J. I. Farley, Republican, Angell's 
majority being 98; there being a vacancy in the office of justice of 
the peace in that district, C. \\\ Holdren, Democrat, received 210 
votes; for constable, S. P. Weatherford, Democrat, received 203 
votes over C. AI. \^est. Republican, who received 95 votes. 

In Talcott District, for president of Board of Education, Dr. J. 
W. Ford, Democrat, received 257 votes, and G. P. Meadows, Repub- 
lican, 148 votes ; Ford's majority, 109. For member of the Board 
of Education, A. P. Pence, Democrat, received 227 votes ; 176 
votes received by Charles H. Graham, Republican; Pence's ma- 
jority being 51. 

In Jumping Branch District, A. H. Mann, Democrat, received 
238 votes, while Thomas M. Cooper received 203 votes for president 
of the Board of Education, Mann's majority being 35. For member 
of the board, L. A. Meador, who was the son of ex-Clerk Allen H. 
Meador, received 238 votes, and S. D. Lilly, Republican, 199, giving 
Meador a majority of 39 votes. 

This Mr. Lewis Meador was a most excellent citizen, residing 
on Madam's Creek, and was elected justice of the peace for that 
district at the election of 1904, but before a single case had been 
tried by him, he was taken sick, from which illness he died, while 
quite a young and useful man. 


The second race between \Vm. J. Bryan and Wm. iMcKinley 
was fought out in 1900, the Republicans carrying the elections 
throughout the country, and especially in West Virginia by an 
increased majority. James H. Miller, of this county, having been 
nominated at the Parkersburg Convention in June for auditor, be- 



came the candidate of the Democratic party against Hon. Arnold 
C. Scherr, of Mineral County. He was also elected chairman of 
the State Democratic Committee, which required practically all of 
his time from the first day of July until the election, at headquar- 
ters in Charleston, giving but very little, if any, more time to Sum- 
mers County than he did to each of the other counties of the State. 
The results of that election are as follows : 

Bryan, Democratic candidate for 

President, rec 


1,822 votes 

McKinley, Republican 




1,750 " 

Gaines, Republican 




1,751 " 

Johnston, Democratic 




1,826 " 

White, Republican 




1,748 " 

Holt, Democratic 




1,831 " 

Scherr, Republican 




1,637 " 

Miller, Democratic 




1,930 " 

McClung, Democratic 


State Senate, 


1,832 " 

Miller, Republican 




1,740 " 

Eubanks, Republican 


House of Del. 


1,768 " 

Bryant, Democratic 


<( <{ 


1,805 " 

Graham, Republican 




1,751 " 

Ewart, Democratic 




1,794 " 

Lively, Republican 


Pros. Atty., 


1,785 " 

Read, Democratic 




1,765 " 

Lilly, Republican 




1.737 " 

Ferrell, Democratic 




1,880 " 

Barker, Republican 




1,747 " 

Campbell, Democratic 




1,819 " 

Grimmett, Republican 


Com. Co. Ct., 


1,735 " 

Hinton, Democratic 


it <( << 


1,835 " 

In this campaign there was a very active contest for the Demo- 
cratic nomination for sheriff, the f^ght being between H. Ewart. 
with J. D. Bolton, W. R. Neely, W. W. Gwinn, E. E. Angell and 
L G. Garden, as his deputies, against Chas. H. Lilly, with Jordan 
Keatly, Geo. W. Hedrick, E. B. Lilly and W. E. Burdette his 
deputies. The contest was a hard-fought one, Mr. Ewart winning 
by a creditable majority. For prosecuting attorney, the race for 
the nomination was made between C. A. Clark and T. N. Read, 
which was also a very active contest, Mr. Read winning by a con- 
siderable majority. The fight, however, within the party did not 
result in desertion from its ranks, the defeated candidates not bolt- 


ing the nominations, although there was considerable soreness 
exhibited, and the results of an unfortunate conflict within the party 
lines was felt throughout the campaign and showed in the results 
at the polls. The Republicans had no contest for nominations, and 
in this election were as a unit practically in support of their respec- 
tive candidates. 

The Chesapeake & Ohio Railway Company did not take a de- 
cided stand in this campaign. The city of Hinton was visited dur- 
ing the campaign by Wm. J. Bryan, the Democratic candidate for 
President, and by Theodore Roosevelt, the Republican candidate 
for Vice-President. The visit of Mr. Bryan to the city of Hin- 
ton was one of the events of its history. Never before or since has 
there been a congregation of people within its borders to in any 
way compare to the crowd assembled to hear Air. Bryan. Voters 
came from all of the adjoining counties. Two voters, Messrs. 
George Canterbury and Brooks, a blacksmith, rode through the 
country from Oceana, in Wyoming County, a distance of eighty 
miles, taking them four days to come and return. A great number 
came from Greenbrier, Raleigh and Fayette Counties ; some from 
as far west as Charleston and Huntington. Mr. Bryan came on a 
special train arranged for by the chairman of the Democratic State 
Committee, and was to have arrived early in the afternoon, but 
leaving Huntington at eight o'clock, where Mr. Bryan made his 
first speech, stops were made all along the railroad, so that Mr. 
Bryan had made twelve speeches before he arrived at Hinton, about 
six o'clock, speaking an hour; he then went on to Ronceverte the 
same evening and made the fourteenth speech. 

The crowd waited persistently and patiently ; the streets were 
filled Avith an immense crowd, it being estimated that not less than 
10,000 people were m the city. The eating-houses, hotels and gro- 
ceries enjoyed the largest custom ever had on a day. 

The crowd to hear President Roosevelt, then candidate for \'ice- 
President on the ticket with Major McKinley, was not so immense, 
there being an estimated crowd of 2,000 people, his meeting not 
having been advertised so well, and there not being such a desire 
to see or hear him at that time. 

Early in this campaign, Hon. J. A. DeArmand, the distinguished 
Democratic Congressman from ^Missouri, addressed the people at 
the court house. In the campaign of 1898, the Hon. Joseph Bailey, 
now the distinguished Senator from Texas, addressed the people 
at the instance of the Democratic leaders at the opera house in 





t^ Si 

. 41 





^ ft 

C d 






TILDEN FOul!;0>.r,n.>:fc. 



In 1902, James H. Miller, Democrat, of this county, was the 
nominee of the Democratic party for Congress, having been nomi- 
nated by acclamation, and, at the earnest request of his party asso- 
ciates, having accepted it, received 1955 votes. Hon. Joseph H. 
Gaines, the RepubHcan nominee, received 1318 votes; \Vm. H. 
McGinnis, Democratic nominee for State Senate, received 1759 
votes; John M. McGrath, Democrat, received 1,763 votes; M. F. 
Matheney, Republican, received 1,522 votes; Alt Ballard, Repub- 
lican, received 1,519 votes, there being two Senators under the re- 
districting of the State to be elected for State Senate, one for the 
short term of two years, and one for the full term of four years. 
Messrs. McGinnis and Matheney, both of Raleigh County, were 
declared elected, Mr. McGinnis, the son of Hon. James H. McGin- 
nis, drawing the long term, and Mr. Matheney drawing the short 
term ; M. M. Warren, Democrat, for House of Delegates, received 
1,690 votes; Geo. Wiseman, Republican, for House of Delegates, 
received 1,595 votes ; Walter H. Boude, for clerk of the circuit court, 
received 1,821 votes; Robert Lilly, Republican, 1,439; Joseph 
M. Meador, Democrat, for clerk of the county court, received 1,826 
votes; E. H. Peck, Republican, 1,433 votes; George W. Lilly. Demo- 
crat for superintendent of free schools, received 1,778 votes against 
Wm. M. Jones, who received 1,467 votes; Harry Haynes, Democrat, 
for commissioner of the county court, received 1,747 votes, and L. 
W. Farley, Republican, received 1,530 votes, the Democrats electing 
each of their candidates by the following majorities: Miller, for 
Congress, carried the county by 637 ; McGinnis, 240 ; McGrath, 241 ; 
Warren, 95; Boude, 382; Meador, 393; Lilly, 311 : Haynes, 217. 

Hon. Joseph H. Gaines, however, was elected to Congress by a 
majority of about 2,500, the district being largely RepubHcan. 


The Democratic candidate for President, Alton B. Parker, re- 
ceived 1.937 votes; Roosevelt, Republican. 1.702 votes; for Con- 
gress, Henry B. Davenport, Democrat, 2.010; J. H. Gaines. Repub- 
lican, 1,622; John J. Cornwell, Democratic candidate for Governor, 
2,062; Wm. M. O. Dawson. Republican. 1.558; A. C Harrison, 
Democrat, for State Senate, 2,026; Ballard, RepubHcan, 1,611; 
Frank Lively, Repul)lican, for judge of the circuit court, 1.237; Jas. 


H. Miller, Democrat, 2,430; D. C. Gallagher, Democrat, for House 
of Delegates, 2,011; Charles Tinder, Republican, 1,628; A. J. 
Keatly, Democrat, for sheriff, 2,138; P. H. Brown, Republican, 
1,506; R. F. Dunlap, Democrat, for prosecuting attorney, 2,043; 
A. R. Heflin, Republican, 1,596; L. M. Neely, Jr., for assessor. Dem- 
ocrat, 1,978; Anderson, Republican, 1,523; W. O. Farley, Democrat, 
for commissioner of the county court, 2,020 ; Harvey, Re- 
publican, 1,618; A. L. Campbell, Democrat, surveyor, 1,976; J. L. 
Barker, Republican, 1,621. 

This was a very hard-fought campaign, especially for the office 
of circuit judge, the Democratic candidate having no opposition 
for the nomination, the other Democrats who had been spoken of 
in connection with the position having generously withdrawn, 
leaving a clear field for him. 

For the Republican nomination. Major James H. McGinnis, of 
Raleigh; I. C. Christian, of Wyoming; Messrs. T. G. Mann and 
Frank Lively, of the same city (Hinton), were spoken of for the 
nomination, but as the campaign progressed the candidates all 
dropped out, except Messrs. Lively and Mann, and the race became 
personal, aggressive and determined. The faction known as the 
Graham faction, or '"old-timers," taking the part of Mr. Mann, and 
the "Blue Pencil Brigade," or Willey faction, taking the part of 
Mr. Lively. Before the date for the nomination Mr. Mann with- 
drew his name as a candidate, and Mr. Lively was nominated by 
acclamation, and went before the people with a large faction of the 
party opposed to him, with disastrous results, as the returns show. 

There have been many political and other meetings of the people 
in the county, at which distinguished speakers and orators have 
addressed the people. 

Before the formation of the county the custom of political meet- 
ings to discuss the leading issues of the day had begun to be held, 
directly before and during the political campaign, but within the 
territory of the county, prior to 1870, but few meetings of this 
character had been held, even during the agitation of secession, 
there were but few public discussions and but little public 
speechmaking, the question of public interest being usually 
discussed at religious meetings held at the churches once or twice 
a month, on Saturdays and Sundays. At the "log-rollings," "fence- 
buildings," "corn-shuckings," the former being occasions when the 
people of the neighborhood would meet on a day invited, all the 
neighbors coming in to aid in grubbing out and fencing a piece of 
"new land," or rolling the logs thereon into piles convenient for 


burning; in the spring time preparing it for a cornfield, or in the 
fall to shuck out the season's corn crop before snowfall, after which 
the young ladies and gentlemen would secure a "fiddler" in the 
neighborhood; and "trip the light fantastic toe" until a late hour 
in the night. Each farmer in the community was expected to have 
one of these gatherings once in a year, and in one day prepare a 
field for crop. And this was greatly in vogue in the early settle- 
ment of the country, and the men for miles would come in to. the 
"gathering," and a large part of the wilderness was cleared in this 
way. Frequently, the women folks would meet at the same time to 
do sewing, have a "quilting" or a "skutching," and aid the house- 
wife, while the men were aiding the men in the fields and the woods. 
Those were good old times, when neighbors were neighbors, 
indeed, and there was not the modern disposition to selfishness now 
in many cases exhibited. This continued up to the present, but is 
very largely a custom of the past. The writer, when a boy, attended 
many of these good neighborly affairs, and grubbed all day, or 
"log-rolled" to help his father's good neighbor. The "musters" 
were once a month, when the men within the age fixed by statute for 
military service were required to meet once a month to receive 
military training, prepare themselves for service in the army in the 
event of being called upon by their country. Every man physically 
able within the military age being prepared for a soldier, and, no 
doubt, this preparation tended to make the soldiers of the Civil 
War of four years between the States, aided materially in giving 
the country the best armies that ever went to war. Universal 
militia service ended with this war. 

After the war political meetings began to be held in this region, 
and at which times some speakers of note would be produced to 
discuss the "issues of the day." 

The first meeting of this character held in the county of which 
I have any information was at Green Sulphur Springs, in 1868. 
during the Grant and Seymour campaign. A barbecue was held in 
the bottom, on the exact ground were Dr. E. E. Noel's fine residence 
is now located, the plan originating with the distinguished phy- 
sician and surgeon. Dr. Samuel Williams, an ardent Southerner 
and Democrat, and, after advertising the meeting for thirty days, 
a beef was provided by Sheriff H. Gwinn, and the meeting held, 
the greatest event in the history of this section. A large United 
States flag was made by the ladies; everybody came, men, women 
and children, for miles and miles around. Tables were set out in 
the grove, people bringing in baskets of food, and a regular holiday 


celebrated. Captain R. F. Dennis, then practicing law at Lewis- 
burg, and in his prime ; Colonel B. H. Jones, another soldier and 
lawyer of Lewisburg, and Hon. Edmund Sehon, a young attorney 
then located in the same town, were the orators of the' occasion, and 
they occupied the larger part of the day, the meeting breaking up 
just in time for the people to return to their abodes. The meeting 
was Democratic, and the orators advocated the election of the Dem- 
ocratic candidate for President, Horatio Seymour, then Governor 
of New York State, and B. Grats Brown, of Missouri, for Vice- 
President. It was a great occasion. After this there was no poHt- 
ical campaign without political discussions, and sometimes, but not 
frequently, joint discussions. 

The city of Hinton has had some noted speakers and some 
famous meetings, including the wonderful Bryan meeting of the 
campaign of 1906. In October he passed over the C. & O. Railway 
by special train provided by the chairman of the Democratic State 
Executive Committee of West Virginia. The train of five' cars 
left Huntington between eight and nine o'clock, after Mr. Bryan 
had delivered an address to a great crowd. The train stopped, and 
Mr. Bryan spoke at Hurricane, St. Albans, Charleston, East Bank, 
Handley, Montgomery, Hawk's Nest, Thurmond and Hinton, all 
short speeches from the rear platform of the rear car, except at 
Huntington, Thurmond and Hinton and other points, when he 
left the train, making set speeches from platforms improvised for 
the occasion. After his speech at Hinton, his train passed on to 
Washington, the only other speaking stop being at Ronceverte. 

At Hinton, people came for 100 miles on horseback, in 
wagons and by foot; one gentleman, ]\Iat Belcher, came from 
Bluefield, a horseback ride of two days, in going and re- 
turning, in order to hear their leader proclaim the doctrines 
of Free Silver. The city was crowded with such a mass of hu- 
manity as was never seen before, and, likely, never again. The 
streets were crowded. It was impractical to move from one 
section of the town to another. The train, of course, was belated 
by reason of the numerous stops. The town was literally eaten 
out ; the groceries, bakeries, hotels, restaurants and eating-houses 
were "cleaned out" of eatables until it was a matter of impossibility 
to get a square meal, by reason of the long delay. Many came in 
the night before, which required food for three meals on the noted 
day. A wonderful congestion of people was witnessed at the rail- 
way station when the train arrived, by reason of the great desire 
to see the "orator of the Platte." He had to be practically carried 


through the crowd to a carriage, where a procession was forrned, 
with brass bands, flags, etc., and made a short march out the prin- 
cipal street to the public school building, and thence to the court 
house park, where the great commoner proclaimed the faith of his 
party, which required an even hour for its delivery, and where a 
platform was constructed under the supervision of Hon. Charles 
A. Clark, chairman of the County Democratic Executive Com- 

There were various estimates of the number composing the 
great crowd. It is impossible to make an approximately correct 
estimate, but 10,000 souls would not be an overestimate, we firmly 

During the same campaign, President Roosevelt, then the Re- 
publican nominee and candidate for Vice-President, visited the 
county, passing through on a special train. His meeting was not 
well advertised, it not being generally known that he would speak 
in Hintpn. The Democrats tendered him the use of their platform, 
and a large meeting was held, however, regardless of the want of 
notice, and the town will ever be proud of having had the honor of 
a visit from so great and distinguished a citizen, the greatest and 
best President of the United States since the death of Abraham 

During the campaign of 1900, the Honorable Charles Emory 
Smith, a member of President McKinley's cabinet, spoke at the 
court house in Hinton. 

In the campaign of 1904, Hon. Henry Gassaway Davis, the 
Democratic candidate for Vice-President on the ticket with Judge 
Alton B. Parker, spoke from the front porch of the Y. M. C. A., 
in Hinton, after dark, to an immense crowd of the people when 
passing through the county by special train, campaigning. Hon. 
John T. McGraw, then chairman of the Democratic State Executive 
Committee, the brilliant Democratic leader, accompanied Mr. Davis, 
and also addressed the people. 

Hon. Steven B. Elkins, United States Senator, and a son-in-law 
of Hon. Henry G. Davis, and a distinguished citizen, spoke to an 
immense crowd in Parker's Opera House, in 1896, as did also M. E. 
Ingalls, the president of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway Company, 
claiming to be a Democrat, but to be a "Gold Democrat," was sup- 
porting Hon. Wm. McKinley. He spoke on one occasion at the 
Parker Opera House, and on another at the baseball park, on the 
old Ballangee place. The Republican Committee took him in 
charge, secured a carriage and four horses, and conveyed him over 
the town as a conquering hero. Mr. Ingalls was exceedingly popu- 


lar with our people by reason of his apparent friendliness toward 
the city, but they did not go to the extent of following his appeals 
to vote against their convictions. 

A very interesting joint discussion was had during the campaign 
of 1896 between Gen. J. A\'. St. Clair, the brilliant attorney of the 
neighboring county of Fayette, and Hon. Pat AlcCall, the latter, in 
some respects, having the better of the meeting by reason of mis- 
information had by Gen. St. Clair in regard to the character of 
bonds issued and secured by the mortgage of the C. & O. Railway 
Company. This great meeting was held under a tent spread in the 
jail yard by the Republicans for use during the campaign. 

Another distinguished joint debate on political issues was held 
in the court house, and was had between Hon. John A. Preston, the 
Lewisburg attorney and Democrat, and Hon. Samuel C. Burdette, 
attorney and Republican, of Charleston, W. Va., and now judge of 
the Kanawha Circuit. 

Judge David E. Johnston, of fiercer County, as candidate for 
Congress, spoke, during his canvass for Congress in 1898, at Park- 
er's Opera House, as did also Hon. Wm. Seymour Edwards, his 
Republican opponent, and Hon. Joseph H. Gaines in the second 
canvass in 1900, of Judge Johnston for that office. 

We doubt if a more brilliant orator ever honored the county 
with his presence than the Hon. Henry S. \\"alker, native West 
Virginian, now dead, not excepting Mr. Br3^an. His services were 
secured by the Democrats, when available, during each political 
campaign. I have heard him on numerous occasions, and his elo- 
quence never became stale and was not surpassed. Had he had the 
opportunities, he would, in the opinion of many, have gone down 
in history and to posterity as one of the greatest orators of this 
whole land. 

Hon. John Edward Kenna, the last Democratic United States 
Senator elected in this State, and who died in office, was a favorite 
campaign speaker to Summers County citizens, although he lost a 
large part of his popularity in the county prior to his death by 
reason of the position taken by him in that most unfortunate case 
of The State vs. J. S. Thompson, tried on an indictment for the 
killing of Elbert Fowler, but he was only performing an entirely 
legitimate and honorable duty in defending his client, as well as 

Col. James W. Davis was a familiar speaker in the Republican 
cause, as was also Col. T. G. Mann, a lawyer of the county, and a 
native of the good old mother of counties — Greenbrier. 


One of the most enterprising political speeches ever delivered in 
the county was in the Parker Opera House in 1898, by the great 
Democratic Senator from Texas, Hon. Joseph Weldon Bailey, then 
a member of Congress from that State, and vv^ho has recently made 
a history-making speech on the Railway Rate bill, now pending in 

Hon. J. W. Ball, a member of Congress, also from Texas, spoke 
at the new court house in 1902, from the Democratic standpoint. 
Hon. Wm. DeArmand, of Missouri; Turner, the iceman, of New 
York; Senator Butler, of South Carolina, have all spoken at Hinton. 
Hon. Wm. M. O. Dawson, the present Governor of the State, 
delivered a speech in the court house in 1904, he then being the 
Republican candidate for that ofifice. 

Hon. John J. Cornwell, the Democratic candidate for Governor 
in 1904, also spoke at the court house during that memorable cam- 
paign in which the tax reform was then agitated, Mr. Dawson being 
a great and sincere advocate of tax reform along the lines adopted 
by the Republican party of the State. 

Hon. Chas. W. Osenton, of Fayette County, has frequently come 
to the aid of the Democracy, and has been heard from the forum in 
its behalf on many occasions. 

Hon. Joseph Holt Gaines, who has been the Republican member 
of Congress from this district for the last six years, and an able 
champion of the doctrines of that party, has been frequently heard 
throughout the county. 

Dr. John J. Lafferty, the eminent Christian editor, preacher and 
lecturer, delivered one of his famous lectures in the old Methodist 
Church in Hinton. 

Hon. C. Wood Dailey, one of the leading lawyers and orators 
of the State, has made political speeches on behalf of the Democratic 
party at Talcott and Hinton, in the campaigns of 1892 and 1896. 

Judge James H. Brown, of the Charleston Bar, when a candi- 
date for Congress in the Third District, and Hon. Wm. P. Hupbard 
and Geo. C. Sturgis, able representatives of the Republican doc- 
trines, have argued their cause before the people in the old court 
house, as well as Hon. A. B. Fleming, in his memorable contest 
as the Democratic nominee for the governorship in 1888, with the 
ablest exponent of Republican principles ever produced in the State, 
General Nathan Goff, Jr., now judge of the United States Court. 
It was over this election there grew the famous contest for that 
office before the Legislature of 1889, in which the vote of this 
county was to some extent brought in question. The majority on 


the returns was very small for General Goff, and Judge Fleming 
contested before the Legislature. A number of illegal votes were 
alleged to have been cast in this county by both parties, and they 
were included in the contest notices. Proof was taken by Colonel 
T. G. Mann, as attorney on behalf of the Republican candidate, 
General Goff, and James H. Miller, as attorney for the Democratic 
candidate, Judge Fleming. Depositions were taken as to some 
votes at New Richmond, Meadow Creek, and two or three at Hin- 
ton, practically all of them being Republican votes who were colored 
construction laborers on the C. & O. Railway. All the depositions 
and proofs taken were on behalf of the Democrats. When it came 
to the proofs by the Republicans, no evidence was taken by them to 
show any illegal Democratic votes. It was clearly proven that 
some few illegal colored votes were cast at Meadow Creek and 
New Richmond, and that they voted for General Gofif. These votes 
were so clearly proven illegal that no question was raised as to 
their illegality, and they were voted to be thrown out and not 
counted for General Gofif by the Republican 3S well as the Demo- 
cratic members of the committee and Legislature. 

Hon. John Duffy Alderson, of Nicholas County, six years a mem- 
ber of Congress as a Democrat from the Third District, frequently, 
during his Congressional career, addressed the people of the county, 
as did also C. P. Snydor, who was a member of Congress for two 
terms before Mr. Alderson. 

There have been conventions held in Hinton for the nomination 
of candidates for Congress. 

Hon. Joseph H. Gaines has been twice nominated in Hinton; 
Hon. John D. Alderson twice nominated there ; Hon. Wm. Seymour 
Edwards once, and at the same time that Mr. Gaines was nominated, 
there being two Republican Conventions, with two sets of delegates 
and two sets of spellbinders, but Mr. Edwards afterwards with- 
drew, and gave Mr. Gaines a clear field, who was elected over 
Hon. Henry B. Davenport, the Democratic candidate. This was 
m 1904. 

Hon. A. N. Campbell was twice nominated at Hinton as the 
Democratic candidate for judge of the circuit court. Hon. Wm. H. 
McGinnis and John McGrath were nominated as the Democratic 
candidates foi the State Senate in 1902 and Honorables Alt. Bal- 
lard and M. F. Matheney, the Republican candidates for the same 
office at the same election, were also nominated at the same place, 
in the court house at Hinton, as were Captain A. C. Harrison, the 
Democratic candidate in 1904, and Hon. Alt. Ballard in the same 


The convention was held in Hinton at the Parker Opera House 
in 1896, to send delegates to the Democratic National Convention 
at Chicago, when General J. W. St. Clair, of Fayette County; Major 
James A. Nighbert, of Logan, and James H. Miller, of Summers, 
were elected delegates to that convention that nominated Wm. J. 
Bryan for the Democratic candidate for President in 1896. 

The first convention for the nomination for candidates for office 
to be voted for outside of the county was a Democratic Congres- 
sional Convention held at the court house, to nominate a candidate 
for the Third West Virginia District, when it extended to the Ohio 
River. The candidates were John Edward Kenna, of Charleston, 
Charles Edward Hogg, of Point Pleasant, and Eustace Gibson, of 
Huntington. Each of the candidates withdrew, and Mr. Kenna was 
nominated and Mr. Hogg was nominated for Presidential elector. 

One of the first political speeches ever made in the county was 
by Hon. Romeo H. Freer, then of Charleston, supporting the Re- 
publican candidates, at the court house. He was afterwards elected 
judge of his circuit, to Congress, and Attorney-General of the State. 
This was back in the seventies. 

Hon. Henry G. Davis spoke in the court house in 1877, soon after 
its completion, and when a candidate for the United States Senate. 
Hon. Frank Hereford, of Monroe County, was also a familiar 
speaker in the county during his political career in Congress and 
the United States Senate. 

Flon. John W. Arbuckle, of Greenbrier County, has frequently 
addressed the people of the county in support of the Democratic 
candidates, and never failed to respond to their call. He is of the 
ancient Greenbrier family of the name, whose ancestor was the 
great pioneer and scout at Point Pleasant in 1774. 

During aggressive political campaigns, it has been the practice 
of both the leading political parties, Democratic and Kcpublican. to 
have political speakings by either local or imported orators, at 
practically all of the schoolhouses and voting places in the counties, 
posting notices in advance, and on the dates advertised ; the local 
candidates and the speakers attend and discuss the issues as well 
as the merits of the various candidates. These meetings are held 
under the auspices of the county executive committees of the re- 
spective parties, and are usually held in the afternoons and even- 
ings. This custom has largely come into vogue within the last 
ten years. 

President Wm. McKinlcy visited the city once while President, 
but only stopped a few minutes on the platform of his train, when 
he was greeted by a great concourse of people. 



The free school system was in operation in this State at the 
date of the formation of this county, although in a crude form ; 
but very material advancements and improvements have been 
made. Prior to the date of the formation of the State, and for 
some time after the war, the only educational system, or means 
of securing an education, was by private or "pay" schools. Those 
who desired could attend, or those who were able to pay the tui- 
tion, usually $1 per month per pupil. The schools were few and 
far between, and the old schoolmaster was a "power in the land," 
he being the scrivener and legal adviser for the entire section of 
the country in which he was located. He would go into a neigh- 
borhood, secure subscribers sufficient for a school for a few months 
— usually during the winter, when the farmers could not be at 
work on their farms — then "board around" with the pupils. One 
school answered for an entire district, for a neighborhood in a ra- 
dius of ten miles. 

There were at the time this county was formed very few free 
schools, and fewer free school houses in the county, and they were 
all of rough hewn logs. As I recollect at this time, there was but 
one free school house in Green Sulphur Township ; it was the old 
"Gum School House" at the ford of Lick Creek, at the foot of 
Keeney's Knob, about a half a mile above the old "Miller Home- 
stead." This house was built under the supervision of Samuel H. 
Withrow, by Mr. Nathan Duncan, and was of hewn logs, with 
dressed ceiling and floors, and cost $400. S. H. Withrow was at 
that time one of the school officers vmder the "system" then m 
power, and it was through his influence the house and school were 
secured. This- house was built about the year 1867 or 1868, while 
the district was still in Greenbrier County, a part of Blue Sulphur 
Township. The children-for all that region around, from six years 
of age to twenty-one, around from the top of Keeney's Knob to 
the head of Lick Creek, and to the top of Sewell Mountain, the 


Andrew Foster place, the Hurley place, the Slater's Creek and 
Duncan settlements, a radius of six miles or more, attended, and 
there was no complaint in those days of that distance to travel. 
The war having suspended education for several years, the schools, 
when they began to open up after its conclusion, were filled with 
a large number of boys and girls more than twenty-one years of 
age, and of boys who had fought under the stars and bars. 

The first free school at this house was taught by a young man 
by the name of A. M. Matics, who was very much disliked by both 
pupils and patrons, and before the close of the term all had quit 
the school except a very few. No one could teach school in those 
days without first subscribing to some kind of a teacher's test- 
oath, testifying to his loyalty to the Government during the war. 

The first school house erected on Lick Creek, of which I can 
secure any information, was an old log house on the farm of Wil- 
liam B. McNeer, on the bank of Slater's Creek, near the forks of 
the creek, and the first school taught there after the war was by 
John P. Duncan, and was attended by a number of the old soldiers 
of the Confederacy, including Jno. C. McNeer, James W. Miller, 
James S. Duncan, John L. Duncan, Nathan Duncan, and others 
whose names I do not remember, who had all been in the army. 

The first school, however, taught on Lick Creek after the war 
was by Major Jno. S. Rudd, was a large subscription school, and 
was attended by a great many in that region. It was the first 
school ever attended by many of us, walking a distance of two 
miles and a half to and from each day. As stated before, school 
teachers then and now were people of importance in the country. 
They wrote wills, and prepared deeds and legal documents con- 
veying land. Major Rudd was a West Point graduate, and a fin- 
ished scholar and teacher, as well as lawyer; but not a man of high 
character. At that time he still wore his officer's uniform, with 
his epaulets. His wife, Mrs. Rudd, was a fine lady, cultured and 
womanly, of the finest sensibilities. He died a few years ago at 
Montgomery, and she still resides at Union, Monroe County. 

One of the oldest teachers known to the country was Colonel 
George Henry, who lived in the meadows in Greenbrier County. 
He was a descendant of Patrick Henry, of Revolutionary fame, 
being a grandson, and was a West Point graduate. He would re- 
ceive all kinds of products, raiment and wearing apparel, for tui- 
tion, and "boarded around," spending a night alternately with his 
pupils, and for which he was not expected to pay. Colonel Henry, 
while an accomplished scholar, was celebrated for his slovenly hab- 


its, it being understood that he bathed his face only when it could 
not be well avoided. 

William Lewis, of Muddy Creek, was the second teacher at 
the "Gum School House." This school house, which was famous 
in its day, after many years of usefulness, was abandoned, the 
school district divided, and numerous other school houses built 
around in the neighborhood. After the free schools came in vogue, 
the teachers all had to go to the home of the county superintend- 
ent for examination by him, and the grade of the certificates were 
numbered from one to five, one being the highest and five the 
lowest. Only the elementary English branches were required to 
be taught. 

There was at the beginning, as above stated, one free school 
house built in Green Sulphur District. Z. A. Trueblood was the 
first county superintendent of Greenbrier County, of which we have 
any information. 

Mr. T. J. Jones was an old gentleman, and one of the few who 
could hold office just after the war, and was a justice of the peace, 
as well as school commissioner, and took acknowdedgments to 
deeds, and usually, when he signed his name officially, he did so 
by signing "T. J. Jones, Justice, J. P." This gentleman undertook 
to be examined to teach in the free schools, as he was qualified to 
teach by being in a position to take the test-oath. He applied to 
Mr. Trueblood for a certificate, and returned rejoicing greatly, car- 
rying in his pocket a No. 5 certificate. On being questioned as to 
his success, he joyfully announced "that he had come out at the 
top ; that he had gotten the highest, a No. 5, and could have got- 
ten a No. 6 if the law allowed it !" 

The school houses, teachers and systems have greatly improved 
since those days, there being now scarcely a log school house m 
the county, they being now built of frame, with active and intelli- 
gent young gentlemen and ladies for teachers. The curriculum 
has been enlarged, including most of the modern branches of study 
for a fair business education. The school houses are furnished with 
modern desks, seats and other school furniture and fixtures. At 
the time of the founding of the county three months was the term; 
now we have five, with one graded or high school, employing 
twenty teachers and a principal and assistant, in the cities of Hin- 
ton and Avis. 

The funds for maintaining the free schools were then secured, 
as now, by direct tax levied against the personal and real property 
assessments of the county, and were divided into a Building and 


Teachers' Fund. Originally they were collected and i)aid out by 
a treasurer of the county; but for the last number of years, since 
the adoption of the amendments to the Constitution, by the sheriff 
as ex-officio treasurer, on drafts issued to the teachers by the presi- 
dent and secretary of the Boards of Education of the respective 
districts. Each teacher at the founding of the county was required 
then, as now, to make monthly reports to the Board of Education, 
endorsed by the trustees. Each district, through its trustees, con- 
tracts for the respective teachers for the sub-districts into which 
the magisterial districts are divided, there usually being a free 
school for each sub-district. 

The Board of Education is composed of three members, one the 
president and the other two members of the Board, and a secretary. 
The president and members of the Board are elected for four years, 
and they elect the secretary; all of the school officers being under 
the general supervision of the superintendent of free schools for 
the county, and under a State Superintendent of Free Schools. 
Their authorities are not materially changed at the present time 
from what they were originally. George W. Lilly is the present 
superintendent, serving out his second term of four years, and is 
a very excellent and up-to-date school man and educator. The 
business of the Board of Education is "to let out," construct and 
repair school buildings. The trustees employ the teachers, look 
after keeping the houses in repair, fire, water, etc. 

Originally the girls swept out the houses and the boys pro- 
vided the wood and made the fires from fagots gathered from the 
forests, they taking their turns alternately in the performance of 
these duties. At the present time all of this is changed, and all 
provided to order and paid for from the public finances — the build- 
ing fund. Originally the parent did as he pleased about sending 
his children to school, and a great many for whom the free schools 
were intended secured little or no benefits therefrom. Now. un- 
der the law, each pupil under the school age is required by com- 
pulsory statute to attend school, unless prevented by sickness or 
a legal excuse, and a parent failing in this is subject to a prosecution 
and fine, there being a truant ofificer in each district, appointed by 
the Board of Education, to enforce this law. The county super- 
intendent's record shows that there were 16 free schools in the 
county at its formation, with 16 log school houses, each oi which 
were log structures, ^nd the number of teachers was 16. For a num- 
ber of years there was a great demand for schools by teachers ; now 
the demand is for teacher*;. The low wages paid, the increased ex- 


penses of living, the short terms for which the schools are kept 
open during the year, have made teaching unattractive as a pro- 
fession, and the teachers of the present day, in the majority of 
such cases, are teachers only until something better turns up, the 
schools being used as stepping stones to a more profitable career. 

The first free school teacher in Pipestem District was Mr. 
Albert Pendleton Gallatin Farle}^ who taught in that region di- 
rectly after the inauguration of the free school system. Mr. Far- 
ley still resides in that district, is an honorable gentleman and well- 
to-do farmer, having been educated at Henry and Emory College, 
in South West Virginia. A. E. Cotton, who now resides at Ad- 
kinsville, in Raleigh County, was one of the first free school teach- 
ers in the county, teaching in Forest Hill District especially. His 
brother, Thomas J. Cotton, was also one of the old-time free school 
teachers. Archie Allen, who resides on top of the Big Ben Tun- 
nel Mountain, is one of the oldest teachers in the county, and 
taught from the time of the establishment of the system until within 
recent years, and is known throughout the county as one of its 
best educators. His father, Nathaniel Allen, was an old pioneer set- 
tler of that region, and died in the year 1903 at the very advanced 
age of near ninety years. He was known throughout the country 
as a very devout Southern Mehtodist, and attended all of the quar- 
terly and other meetings of that church for miles around. 

The old school houses in what is now Summers, before the 
establishment of the free school system, were frequently without 
other than dirt floors. George W. Lilly, present superintendent 
of free schools, attended school when a lad in a log house, which 
had no floor except mother earth. The roofs of these houses were 
of clapboards, held down by poles laid from one end of the house 
to the other, with a stick between them to hold them separate. 

There are 160 free schools in this county, with 160 teachers. 
William H. Lilly, father of E. B. Lilly, of Leatherwood, was an 
old-time teacher, and taught at the old Apple Place School House, 
forty years ago. 

Preston Rives Shirard deserves mention in this story as one 
of the pioneer free school teachers, as well as "subscription teacher." 
He educated principally two of the superintendents of this county, 
David G. Lilly and Jonathan F. Lilly, who were brothers-in-law. 
He was an over-educated gentleman ; had more education than 
he had practical sense ; was very peculiar in his manners ; had long 
hair down over his shoulders, with a cap without any bill pulled 
down over his ears, with untrimmed beard, and wore shabby clothes. 


What money he earned he spent for the good of the cause of edu- 
cation, and distributed among the poor children of the territory. 
After teaching in this county for a number of years, he went to 
Kanawha County, where he died some five or six years ago. 

George W. Leftwich is another of the older teachers, and later 
county superintendent for four years from Forest Hill District. 
Also Wm. J. Kirk, of Green Sulphur District, who was also a com- 
missioner of the county court for six years. 



Summers County lies in the southern part of West Virginia, in 
longitude 81° west and latitude ^7° north. 

The close of the war found the territory now embraced in the 
county practically without both schools and churches, and it was 
not until about the year 1868 that any interest was manifested in 
either schools or churches. 

That portion of the county taken from Fayette had not a single 
school. From Greenbrier County's territory we received, as nearly 
as I can learn, not more than four schools ; from Mercer County, 
six, and from Monroe County, six, making a total of sixteen in the 
county at its formation ; and immediately after the adoption of the 
Constitution of 1872, which prescribed that the Legislature should 
provide for a "thorough and efficient system of free schools," our 
people awoke from their lethargy and made rapid strides, until our 
system to-day is as good as can possibly be made under the existing 

The primitive school buildings (a few of which are still stand- 
ing) were very rude structures, being built by the public-spirited 
citizens without cost to the county or district. These houses were 
only sixteen feet square, without any chimney (one end of the 
house being left uncovered for the space of five feet to afford a 
passage for the smoke), the whole end being used as a place in 
which to build fires. The furniture consisted of small logs split into 
halves and "pegs" used as legs. These houses were all "cabined 
ofiF," covered with boards held down by "weight poles," and only a 
very few floored with "puncheons," the others having the bare 
earth for floors. W^indows were unknown, and a rough board was 
used as a "writing desk." The teachers were scarce ; none trained 
in colleges, normals or high schools, and teachers that were pro- 


ficient in the three R's, Reading, " 'Riting" and " 'Rithmetic," were 
in constant demand, at salaries ranging from fourteen to twenty 
dollars per month, and when such teachers could be secured, they 
were considered quite a luxury. 

During the ten years extending from 1890 to 1900, there was 
the greatest possible activity among the friends of education. 
Boards of education throughout the county were then discarding 
the old log buildings, and erecting new frame cottages, supplying 
them with ample light, blackboards and the best of modern school 
furniture, and many of them, apparatus. In 1890, the schools of 
Summers County had increased from sixteen at its organization to 
120 primary schools, two graded and one high school. 

But at no time in the history of Summers County has the zeal 
for education been greater than at the present. All the old build- 
ings have been replaced by modern ones, with ample room, light 
and modern furniture, cloak room and everything for the conve- 
nience and health of both teachers and pupils. These buildings are 
24 X 36 feet, fourteen feet from floor to ceiling; eight large windows, 
and well equipped with modern furnishings, at a cost of $850.00 
to $1,000.00 each. 

In 1903, a system of examination known as the "uniform sys- 
tem" went into effect. This system raised the standard of the 
teachers, and this, together with the material development of the 
State, has produced a shortage of teachers, from which our schools 
are now suffering. The material development of the State has 
opened many positions to teachers at salaries far above that offered 
by boards of education, and, consequently, our schools have lost 
many of their efficient teachers. 

' Such has been the zeal of Summers County's citizenship that 
ever}^ obstacle has been gallantly met and overcome, and school 
property is guarded as a treasure, the value of which can not be 
computed. Summers County, at its organization, could not boast 
property worth one cent, and now, at the opening of 1907, she has 
to her credit property worth $200,000. 

Summers County now has 161 schools, in which are employed 
175 well-equipped teachers, at an average salary of $33.00 per 
month ; has enrolled 5,000 pupils from a total enumeration of 6,800, 
and has an average daily attendance of 3,850, at an annual cost per 
capita of $12.35, based on attendance ; v'?;8.70 based on enrollment, 
and $6.54 based on the enumeration. 

At its organization, and for several years thereafter. Summers 
County had only one lady teacher, Miss Mollie Jordan, daughter 


of Gordon L. Jordan, Summers County's first representative in the 
West Virginia Legislature. But the gentle zephyrs which pass 
through its beautiful valleys and waft the sweet-scented smell of 
delicious fruits, blooming flowers, and the glad song of ever-sing- 
ing birds up the mountain sides, towering from 1,500 to 2,500 feet 
above the sea, have awakened in the bosoms of the Summers 
County maidens an enthusiasm for education which will not abate, 
and is the wonder and admiration of our stalwart sons, who have 
been giving place to the ladies, until now seventy-five per cent, of 
our noble and true-hearted teachers are ladies. 

The upbuilding of the present system in the county has been 
materially aided by her efficient county superintendents, viz. : 

John Pack, from the formation of the county to 1873. 

C. L. Ellison, Forest Hill District, 1873 to 1877. Two terms. 

D. G. Lilly, Jumping Branch District, 1877 to 1881. Two terms. 
Jas. H. Miller, Green Sulphur District, 1881 to 1883. One term. 
H. F. Kesler, Talcott District, 1883 to 1885. One term. 

C. A. Clark, Pipestem District, 1885 to 1887. One term. 
V. V. Austin, Pipestem District, 1887 to 1889. One term. 
J. F. Lilly, Jumping Branch District. 1889 to 1891. One term. 
Geo. W. Lilly, Jumping Branch District, 1891 to 1893. One term. 
J. M. Parker, Jumping Branch District, 1893 to 1895. One term. 
Geo. W. Leftwich, Forest Hill District, 1895 to 1899. One term. 
H. F. Kesler, Talcott District, 1899 to 1903. One term. 
Geo. W. Lilly, Jumping Branch District, 1903 to 1907. One 

J. E. Keadle, J907. Term beginning July 1st. 


At the formation of Summers County the territory embraced in 
the districts of Greenbrier and Talcott formed only one district, 
Greenbrier, and supported only six schools. 

In the year 1874, the number had increased to thirteen, and in 
that year a building committee, consisting of W. W. Adams, C. A. 
Fredeking, M. V. Calloway and C. A. Sperry. was appointed to 
provide suitable specifications and let to contract a schoolhouse in 
subdistrict No. 13, which house was erected by E. A. Weeks at the 
price of $675.00, and is the foundation of the Hinton High School. 

The first teacher in this new building was W. R. Thompson, 
and was opened in the fall of 1875, with Miss Anna Hoge as as- 
sistant. Mrs. W. W. Adams had previously taught in a rented 


building. W. R. Thompson was succeeded by Harvey Ewart and 
Miss Lida French as assistant. Next was Rufus Alderson and Miss 
Hoge, who were followed by John J. Cabell, Major J. S. Rudd and 
J. H. Jordan, with Misses Anna Hoge, Jennie Hamer and Nannie 

His Honor, James H. Miller, taught in this school in 1877, fol- 
lowing H. Ewart. Miss Anna Hoge was his assistant. 

He again took charge of the school in 1880, with Miss Mariah 
Beasly as his assistant, and in 1881, with C. A. Clark as assistant. 

Prof. J. F. Holroyd opened the first school in what is known as 
the city of Avis the same year, which school has since grown suc- 
cessively to two, three and four rooms, and has recently been made 
a branch of the Hinton High School. 

In 1887, our people determined that their children should have 
better educational facilities, and, tiring of sending them away to 
other schools, they filed a petition with the School Board, con- 
sisting of J. C. James, president ; S. W. Willey and James Briers, 
commissioners, and J. M. Carden, secretary, asking for the estab- 
lishing of a district high school. The proposition was submitted 
to a vote of the people, and carried by a large majority. In accord- 
ance with the expressed wish of the people, a high school was es- 
tablished, with four teachers, viz., J. H. Jordan, principal; V. V. 
Austin, Miss Mary Ewart and Miss Nannie McCreery, assistants. 

The grounds cover eight full size city building lots, four of 
which were donated to the Board of Education by the Central 
Land Co. of West Virginia, and the remaining four were purchased. 
These grounds alone are now worth about $60,000. 

The first building was a brick structure containing four rooms, 
but soon after the board found it necessary to add two rooms, 
which, with this addition, was sufficient to accommodate the pupils 
until 1895. and in which year it was determined to build a more 
spacious building and equip it with all modern appliances for the 
continually growing enrollment. The building was supposed to 
cost about $20,000, and the board was forced to borrow $12,000, 
and, with this amount, the board could raise a sufficient amount to 
build the house. Accordingly, an election was ordered to be held 
D'ecember 31. 1895, which resulted in a majority of 301 to 16 in its 
favor. Work was immediately commenced on the structure, and 
the fall of 1896 marked its completion in time for the opening of 
the school. New branches have been added from time to time and 
additional teachers employed, until now, at the opening of 1907, 
finds it second to no school in Southern West Virginia. 


The first Board of Education of Greenbrier Dist/ict consisted of 
Robert H. Wikel, president ; James Boyd and M. A. Manning, com- 
missioners, and S. W. Willey, secretary. Under this board the first 
election for authorizing a school levy was held. There were cast 
187 votes ; 186 were cast in favor of the levy, and one against it. 

The following is a copy of one of the certificates of one of the 
first assessors of Summers County: 

"I hereby certify to the Board of Education of Greenbrier Dis- 
trict, Summers County, West Virginia, the assessed value of the 
property in your district as shown this year on the commissioners' 
books, which will be your guide for making levy, viz. : Real estate, 
$142,583.18; personal property, $56,621.00; total, $199,204.18. 

"(Signed), JOHN LILLY, Assessor of Summers County." 

J. T. Huffman, president ; S. W. Willey and James Sims, com- 
missioners, and J. B. Lavender, secretary, comprised the Board of' 
Education under which the new building was erected on Temple 

The present board, Wm. H. Sawyers, president; R. E. Noel and 
J. D. Roles, commissioners, and W. E. Price, secretary, have been 
untiring in their efforts to make this the best school in the State. 

Especial care has been taken to make the sanitary conditions 
good; much new furniture and apparatus have been recently added, 
until now the buildings and grounds and appointments are valued 
at $150,000. The enrollment is now 825, with an average daily 
attendance of 700. The school consists of the primary grade and 
the high school department. 

John D. Sweeney was appointed as the first superintendent of 
Hinton Schools in the fall of 1900; H. F. Fleshman, who held the 
position for a period of four years, during which time the school 
made rapid progress. Mr. Fleshman was succeeded by I. B. Bush 
in the fall of 1904, who is now in charge of the city schools, with a 
corps of twenty-one well-equipped teachers, four of which number 
are in the high school department. 

The high school course consists of four full years' work, and 
graduates are admitted to a number of our leading universities and 
colleges without examination. Scholarships have been awarded to 
its graduates by Washington, Lee and Tulane Universities. The 
following schools are represented by their graduates in the high 
school corps of teachers : West Virginia University, Vanderbilt 
University, Dickinson College, Randolph-Macon A\'oman's College 
and Woman's College at Richmond. 


The grades are taught by eighteen well-equipped teachers, grad- 
uates of seminaries, high and normal schools. Mvisic and drawing 
were introduced in the fall of 1906. and great progress has been 
shown under competent supervisors who are in charge of these 

Prof. Bush is a ripe scholar, a genial gentleman, and to his un- 
tiring energy is due the fact that, in the spring of 1906. the Board 
of Education submitted a proposition to issue bonds for $25,000 
for the erection of an additional high school building, which bond 
issue carried by an overwhelming majority, and the board has now 
under process of construction a new building on a site costing 
$10,000, which, when completed and furnished will add $75,000 to 
the value of the high school property. 


Graded schools have been established as follows: In the town of 
Avis, in 1891, with two teachers, to which has since been added 
two more; and in 1905 this school was made a branch of the high 
school. Prof. H. O. Curry is now principal, with three well- 
equipped teachers as assistants. Prof. Curry is a ripe scholar, and 
to him is due the present high standing of this school. 

At Green Sulphur Springs, with Miss Ella George, a lady of 
splendid attainments, as principal, with one assistant teacher. 

At New Richmond, with Miss Irene Hoke as principal, with one 
assistant teacher. 

At Talcott, Prof. M. E. Garden as principal, with, at the present 
time,, only one associate teacher, but the growing interest will, in 
the near future, make necessary the employment of two more. 

At Jumping Branch, with Mr. Lee Harper, a teacher of several 
years' experience, as principal, with one assistant. This school has 
been, since its establishment, doing good work, and the citizens are 
very proud, and ere long the increasing enrollment will make nec- 
essary additional teachers. 

The Hinton Colored School, established as a graded school in 
1897, employing four teachers. This school is well appointed and 
affords a means by which the colored youth are acquiring a splen- 
did education. Graduates from this school are admitted in the 
leading colored schools of the country. The school building, 
grounds, furniture and apparatus are valued at $10,000. 

These schools are all doing good work, and in the near future it 
will be necessary to establish other graded schools in the county. 


A new high school building is now in course of construction in 
Avis, at a cost of $30,000. Greenbrier District having voted $25,000 
in bonds in 1906 for its erection. It is of brick, with latest heating 
and sanitary equipments. The lot was purchased from the James 
Brothers for $8,200,00. 

Theodore S. Webb was also one of the later teachers, as were 
also J. Houston Miller, now president of the Waxahachie National 
Bank in Texas, Miss Mary B. Miller, C. L. Miller, W. N. McNeer, 
R. W. Clark, later a member of the Board of Examiners and a jus- 
tice of the peace, George P. Scott, David Bowles, Jr., and H. F. 
Kesler, twice county superintendent. 



The first church in all the region of the Talcott country was a 
log church which stood within 200 yards of where the residence of 
Ben R. Boyd now stands, on top of the Little Bend Tunnel. It was 
a Union Church, worshiped in by all denominations ; built of logs, 
covered with boards, and was burned prior to the Civil War and 
never rebuilt, but a new church — Pisgah — a Methodist house of 
worship, was built on top of the Big Bend Tunnel, where the pres- 
ent Pisgah Church now stands. 

All the original churches were log buildings and of the most 
primitive character, covered with clapboards, built from the trees of 
the forest by the people of the community, who joined in aiding for 
miles around. 

The first frame church built in the county was the Methodist 
Church at Pipestem — Jordan's Chapel — built before the war, and 
named for the family of Hon. Gordan L. Jordan. 

The first missionary Baptist Church in the New River or Green- 
brier Valleys was established about one mile above the mouth of 
Muddy Creek, and is known as the Old Greenbrier Baptist Church, 
in what is now North Alderson, founded by John Alderson, the 
pioneer missionary Baptist minister, west of the Allegheny Moun- 
tains. He was the pastor of the Lynnville Baptist Church of Rock- 
ingham County, Virginia, from 1775 to 1777. Rev. Alderson made 
three visits into the regions west of the Alleghenies and baptized 
three persons, John Griffith, who was killed afterwards by the In- 
dians, and Mrs. Keeney. We are unable to secure the name of the 
third. They were the first persons ever baptized by immersion in 
the Greenbrier River. He brought his family and settled in 1777. 
When he had gotten as far as Jackson's River on his way, he learned 
of an Indian attack on the Colonel James Graham settlement, where 
Lowell now stands, and that one of Colonel Graham's family had 
been killed, so he delayed until October. He first located on Wolf 
Creek, at Jarret's Fort, but shortly after built his cabin where the 


Alderson Hotel now stands, and which is occupied by one of his 
descendants, John W. Alderson. In two years he had gathered a 
congregation of twelve members, and called his organization a 
branch of the Lynnville Church. He thus operated until the 22d 
of October, when he established the old Greenbrier Baptist Church, 
and the next year he had it admitted to the Ketocton Association. 
Measures were taken to build the first church in 1783, and in July 
following the building was occupied for public worship. Members 
joined for thirty miles around, and regularly attended the monthly 
meeting held on Saturday and Sunday of each month. This church 
and the whole of the town of Alderson and North Alderson are 
within the territorial limits of Summers County, but it has not oc- 
cupied it and never exercised dominion or jurisdicton over it be- 
cause it was not known to be within the county lines establishing 
the county until the time had elapsed in which it could assume or 
assert dominion by reason of its legislative-created authority. 



The Hinton Circuit was formed 1872, and is a part of and within 
the Baltimore Conference. The preachers in charge were as fol- 
lows: H. M. Leslie, 1872 and 1873; W. M. Hiner, 1873 and 1874 
Vincent M. Wheeler, 1874 and 187.5 ; O. F. Burgess, 1875 and 1876 
Alfred Gearhart, 1876 and 1877; O. F. Burgess, 1877 and 1878 
Henry S. Coe, 1878 and 1880; Henry D. Bishop, 1880 and 1881 
John A. Anderson, 1881 and 1883 ; David L. Reid, 1883 and 1885 
J. L. Follansbee, 1885 and 1887. In 1887 Hinton was made a sta- 
tion, Presley V. Smith, 1887 and 1888; J. Lester Shipley, 1888 
and 1891; Charles L. Dameron, 1891 and 1892; O. C. Beale, 1892 
and 1896; Henry A. Brown, 1896 and 1900; J. R. Van Horn, 1900 
and 1903; L. L. Lloyd, 1903, and is still in charge in 1907. The 
first house used was the old frame public school building situated 
where Dr. Holley's hospital is now located, which was occupied 
until the First Baptist Church was erected in 1876, after which it 
was used jointly with the other denominations until the First Meth- 
odist Church was built in 1880, which was a one-story frame build- 
ing about 30 by 50 feet, and which has, since it was abandoned as a 
church, been used as a printing office by the Independent Herald 
and for school purposes. About 1890 the large modern brick build- 


ing was completed and has since been used as the house of worship 
by this denomination. It is a large modern building, heated by 
steam, with a basement for social gatherings, the costliest church in 
the county. The General Conference of the church was held in this 
building in March, 1895, presided over by Bishop Wilson. The 
present pastor, Rev. L. L. Lloyd, with the completion of the pres- 
ent year will have been located at this church for his full term of 
four years. He is one of the best pastors ever provided for this 
or any other congregation. 

The cornerstone for the first Methodist Episcopal Church, South. 
church building was laid by the Masons on the 18th of December, 
1876, by Ex-Gov. Judge Geo. W. Atkinson, Grand Secretary of 
West Virginia. The corner-stone of the present brick edifice was 
also laid with imposing Masonic ceremonies and a number of valu- 
able coin, papers, etc., deposited. 


This organization was effected September 3, 1887. T. H. Fitz- 
gerald was the first moderator of the council. Absolem D. Bolton 
was chosen first pastor, and served the church for a long term, 
until November 4, 1899, when he resigned by reason of the failure 
of his health. 

George W. Leftwich was elected first clerk of the church, which 
position he has very ably filled from the date of its organization 
September 3, 1887, until the present time. 

Rev. A. A. McClelland was the second pastor, and addressed 
the spiritual affairs of that organization from December 2, 1899 to 
May 4, 1901, after which Rev. H. McLaughlin was elected pastor 
from January 1, 1901, to May 6, 1905, at which time his resignation 
was accepted, and the church then accepted the Rev. J. B. Cham- 
bers, who is the present moderator, pastor, and in full charge of 
the church. 

Rev. Chambers is not only in charge of this church, but minis- 
ters to several other churches ; he is a man of fine ability and Chris- 
tian character, and is now residing at the mouth of Greenbrier 

We are in receipt of the data of this church through the cour- 
tesy of Mr. George W. Leftwich, who is one of the oldest school 
teachers of the state, and an ex-county superintendent of free 
schools of this county. 



This church was organized in the month of June, 1874, by a 
commission appointed by the old Greenbrier Presbytery, which 
consisted of Rev. J. C. Barr, D. D., of Charleston, W. Va.; Ruling 
Elder James Withrow, of Lewisburg, and Messrs. Carl A. Frede- 
king, E. A. Weeks and Hiram Scott, of Hinton, who constituted 
the first actual session, with the following members: Mrs. Hiram 
Scott, Mrs. Wills and Mrs. C. A. Sperry. 

The congregation owned no church property at the date of the 
organization of the church, but occupied one Sunday out of the 
month at the First Baptist Church. During the first year of the 
church history it was supplied monthly by ministers appointed by 
the Presbytery. In 1875, Rev. P. E. Brown, a student of the Pres- 
byterian Theological Seminary, supplied the pulpit for four months. 
In 1876, the first regular pastor was called. Rev. H. R. Laird, 
remaining until September, 1878. Mr. Laird Avas a very scholarly 
gentleman and a good theologian, but like many other eminent 
men, was somewhat forgetful. One Sunday evening, he preached 
from a certain text, and at his next meeting, the month following, 
preached the sermon from the sam.e text, having forgotten that 
he had previously used that text. 

Following Rev. Laird, Rev. L. A. McLain became the pastor 
in June, 1880, and continued until August, 1884. Rev. J. W. 
Wightman, D. D., was called in 1884, and remained pastor until 
the date of his death, in June, 1889. Dr. Wightman was the 
father of our townsman, Mr. Henry Weightman, and of Mrs. John 
Haynes. The family of Dr. Wightman still resides in this city. 

Rev. J. W. Holt was called on December 20, 1889, and continued 
pastor until September, 1900. at which date he resigned, accept- 
ing a call at Alderson, West Virginia, where he still resides. After 
the resignation of Mr. Holt, Rev. D. R. Frierson was called in May, 
1901, and continued as pastor until September, 1903, at which date 
he resigned, and in August following, in 1904, Rev. D. W. Hol- 
lingsworth was called and is the present pastor of that church. 

The official boards of the church are. at this writing, as follows : 

Session: C. A. Fredeking, Clerk; R. F. Dunlap, R. T. Dolin, 
J. W. Miller, H. T. Smith. 

Board of Deacons: J. D. Humphries, Treasurer; C. B. Mahon, 
E. L. Briers, A. M. Erwin and P. W. Boggess. 

The church was organized with a membership of six ; the pres- 


ent membership is 235. The Presbyterians were pioneers in church 
building and church organization in the city of Hinton. A lot 
was acquired for church purposes on Temple Street, on which a 
neat frame church was erected in 1882. 

C. A. Fredeking, the clerk of the session, is an ex-justice of the 
peace and retired merchant ; R. F. Dunlap is an attorney-at-law ; 
R. T. Dolin an ex-employee of the C. & O. Railway and city ser- 
geant for three consecutive terms, filling that position at this date ; 
James W. Miller, proprietor of the Hotel Miller; H. T. Smith, a 
railway locomotive engineer. 

Of the Board of Deacons, J. D. Humphries, treasurer, is en- 
gaged in the mercantile business ; also Capt. C. B. Mahon, who 
IS not only one of the leading merchants, but a vice-president and 
leading director in the Bank of Summers, and an ex-railroad con- 
ductor; E. L. Briers, merchant; A. M. Erwin, clerk in the store 
of C. B. Mahon; P. W. Boggess, a practicing attorney and insur- 
ance agent. 


This church was organized on August 29, 1868, by Rev. Martin 
Bibb, assisted by Rev. Rufus Pack and Rev. Henry C. Tinsley, 
three of the pioneer Baptist ministers of this section. 

On Sunday, August 30, 1868, the first pastor. Rev. H. C. Tinsley, 
was elected as pastor of the church, and served as such until Sep- 
tember, 1870. On March 14, 1871, Rev. John Bragg was elected 
pastor, and served the church until April, 1873. On May 10, 1873, 
Rev. W. R. Williams was elected pastor, and served as such until 
Judy 19, 1874. Rev. James Sweeney was elected pastor Sun- 
day, February 6, 1876, having preached and supplied that pulpit 
for some time before he was elected pastor. Rev. Sweeney served 
the church as pastor until September, 1877. Rev. Sweeney still 
survives, being now a resident of Beckley, and a remarkable man 
of the times, being now nearly eighty years old, but active, physi- 
cally, and retaining his mental powers to a wonderful degree. Rev. 
M. Bibb preached for this church from February 10, 1878, until Oc- 
tober 13, 1878. Rev. A. D. Bolton was appointed pastor April 27, 
1879, and served as such until June 8, 1884. 

Shortly after this date, Rev. G. W. Wesley was called as pastor 
by a few members, and preached for the church until December 
20, 1885. This is the same G. W. Wesley who at one time resided 
at the mouth of Greenbrier, and who for several years was pastor 


of a number of churches in this region, including the Greenbrier 
Baptist Church, the Griffith's Creek Church and others. He was 
a native of Wyoming County, was noted for his rascahty, and after- 
wards served a term in the Kentucky penitentiary for bigamy. 

On Saturday, May 28, 1887, Rev. C. D. Kincaid was elected 
pastor, and served until December, 1892. Rev. Kincaid was a native 
of Lick Creek, and without any educational opportunities, became 
a very intelligent and conscientious minister of this church, serving 
a number of congregations faithfully until his death a few years 
ago. Shortly after Mr. Kincaid severed his connection with the 
church, Rev. G. W. Parker was appointed pastor, and served until 
May 7, 1893. Rev. W. F. Hank was elected pastor August 6, 1893, 
and served as such until March 3, 1895. Mr. Hank is still a citizen 
of Summers County, owning and residing on an attractive home- 
stead at Pack's Ferry. 

Rev. C. T. Kirtner was elected pastor March 22, 1896, preaching 
for the church, however, but a short time. On August 16, 1896, 
Rev. Walter Crawford, of Forest Hill District, was elected pastor, 
and continued and served as such until August, 1903, at which time 
Rev. A. D. McClelland was elected on February 12, 1905, and is 
the present pastor for that congregation. 

This is known as the Rollinsburg Baptist Church, having been 
founded when that was the name of the post office at that place 
and before the construction of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad, 
and before the founding of the present thriving village of Talcott. 
This congregation now occupies a comfortable frame church 

I am under obligations to W. W. Jones, Esq., of Talcott, for 
the facts concerning the organization of this church, who was one 
of the pioneer settlers of that place. His brother, J. W. Jones, was 
the first clerk of that church, having been elected at its organiza- 
tion, and served as such until September, 1875. On September 17, 
1875, Mr. Jones was accidentally killed by a pistol shot, fired by 
himself in his storeroom at that place. He was a very enterprising 
and thrifty merchant. He, with his brother, W. W. Jones, estab- 
lished the mercantile business on the opposite side of the river from 
the railroad at the old Rollinsburg storehouse, where they con- 
tinued the business until the building of the railroad, when they 
removed to the present site of W. W. Jones, near the end of the 
new iron toll bridge, constructed at that point across Greenbrier 
River. W. W. Jones is one of the active members of this church 
congregation, and its advancement and success is greatly due to 


his consistent enterprise. He is a good, conscientious, enterprising 
citizen. In 1907 the church was struck by Hghtning and burned 
to the ground, and the members are now securing funds to rebuild. 


This church was organized by a few faithful Christian people 
at the residence of Mrs. Elizabeth Duncan, at the old Duncan place, 
on the Duncan Branch of Lick Creek, about half a mile from 
Green Sulphur Springs, on the 21st of August, 1832. This place 
is within a few hundred yards of the residence of Dr. Edgar E. 
Noel, and is owned by Messrs. J. P. and W. T. ]\Iaddy. The 
church was organized by Elder William C. Ligon, and I get a 
somewhat full record of this old church, having been placed in 
possession of the church record, kept by Mr. Ephraim J. Gwinn, 
the father of M. and H. Gwinn, who was clerk of the church from 
June 14, 1848, until the 11th day of June, 1868, being succeeded 
by the late John Hix, and it is a pleasure, as well as a matter of 
interest, to show the character of this devout and Christian people, 
who were then settling in the vastness of almost a forest wilder- 
ness. The members of this church at that time were regularly 
dismissed from the Amwell, Greenbrier and Cotton Hill churches. 

"Church covenant made and entered into Tuesday, the 21st 
day of August, 1832, between the members of the Baptist Church 
of Christ, called Lick Creek. All whose names are enrolled in 
the record have been duly baptized on a profession of our faith 
in the Lord Jesus Christ, do hereby most solemnly and in fear of 
God, give ourselves unto the Lord and to each other, to be gov- 
erned and regulated as a religious body in the manner following: 
"Art. L We believe that the Church of Christ is not national 
but congregational, it being a body of faithful men and women 
quickened and called by the holy spirit of the world of the unre- 
generated, and united together in love and mutual consent for 
comfort, support and edification of each other ; that our Lord Christ 
is the supreme head and law giver of his church, and his word 
their immediate rule or key, by which they can open and none 
can shut, or, shut and none can open, therefore, they have the 
sole right and privilege to govern themselves according to the 
holy Scriptures, and that no man or set of men, whether, bishop 
synods, associations, or assemblies of ministers, have any right or 
power to impose church laws upon, or intermeddle with the privi- 
leges of any particular church, such exercises of power, sayings of 


anti-Christians, priest craft, and papal corruption, yet we have 
such assemblies, not only as lawful, but very useful when acting 
as advisory counsels, according to the Word of God. We shall 
therefore esteem it our 'hyest' privilege, as well as our duty, to 
fill our places in the Baptist Association. 

"Art. II. We hold it to be our indispensable duty to watch 
over each other ; to keep up a regular gospel description ; to sup- 
port and hold as far as in us lies the light or glorious gospel of 
Christ before a dark and benighted world, and to this end, we do 
solemnly agree and promise, and in the presence of the living and 
heart-searching God, to endeavor to suppress every species of 
vicious immorality, and, especially, in our own families. 

"Art. III. As we acknowledge only one faith, one Lord and one 
Baptism, we ourselves bound by most solemn obligations to main- 
tain, as far as we possibly can, the pure ordinance of the gospel 
church regarding the commands and examples of our glorious 
Redeemer, as the only lawful pattern, not turing aside from these 
to the right or the left, neither teaching for doctrines the vain tra- 
ditions nor commandments of men."' 

Elder (Rev.) William C. Ligon was the first pastor of this 
church. On June 17, 1848, Elder (Rev.) John Bragg was elected 
pastor, who ministered for many years to the spiritual wants of 
the people at a salary of $40.00 per annum. This was the same 
Rev. John Bragg who was elected deputy clerk of the county 
court, with Josephus Pack, the first clerk of the county. He moved 
to the west several years ago, when quite an old man, and was 
the father of Judson Bragg, who still resides near Pipestem post 
office. Rev. Bragg was a saintly man and did much for the cause 
of morality in this region of the country and for the Missionary 
Baptist Church. The contributions to the church for the associa- 
tion for this year was $1.31. T notice that for a number of years 
this contribution Was $1.25. 

Brother Joel Walker, a great hunter of that region, seems to 
have given the church trouble about these times on account of his 
thirst for strong drink, but with the patience and goodness of these 
devout people, his weakness was overlooked, and eflforts made for 
his reformation. At the September meeting, 1849, this Brother 
Walker was charged with intoxication, preferred by Brother j. M. 
Hix. Shadrick Martin, the father of James H. Martin. Joseph Mar- 
tin and Aiken Martin, who still live in that conmiunily, and E. J. 
Gwinn were appointed a committee to expostulate and show Brother 


Walker the errors of his way and report on him. This committee, 
at a following session of the church, reported as follows : 

"Your committee have seen Brother Walker, and conferred with 
him concerning the charge of his being intoxicated. He acknowl- 
edged the charge in tears and much apparent sorrow, and said he 
hoped the church would not turn him out; that he was determined 
to do better in the future to come, and that if they heard he was 
drunk again, it would be a false report." 

Whereupon, Mr. Walker was acquitted, but we find again at a 
later date, the brother confessed to a later similar charge, and was 
excommunicated. He and family left that region and settled in 
Braxton County, where his son, S. A. Sylvanus, is a minister of 
the gospel. 

On the 17th day of March, 1848, I find the following order en- 
tered : 

"No attendance at church, neither by parson or members; the 
measles raging in the neighborhood." 

The next pastor after Mr. Bragg was Rev. James Lewis Marshal, 
who retained his pastorate for a number of years, and throughout 
the period of the war, from 1861 to 1865, he also being a chaplain in 
the Confederate Army. After his resignation of his pastorate after 
the war, he removed into Wyoming County, where he died, my 
good friend, Dan Gunnoe, of Craney, having married one of his 
daughters. Miss Hettie. 

The first house of worship was a one-story log building on Lick 
Creek, near the residence of E. J. Gwinn, close to the Green Sulphur 
Springs, in 1850. This was the first church building ever erected 
in Green Sulphur District. It was about 30 x 50 feet, of hewn logs, 
with an aisle in the center. The ladies always sat on one side of * 
the aisle and the gentlemen on the other during services. This old 
church was replaced by a neat frame structure in the year 1881, on 
the same site, E. J. Gwinn having donated a church lot to the Bap- 
tists, and his son, H. Gwinn, having donated a lot to the Presby- 
terian congregation. 

The next pastor was the Rev. M. Bibb, well known to many 
citizens still residing in this county as one of the most learned and 
able preachers of the missionary Baptist denomination, being a 
scholar of fine attainments, learned in the Greek language, having 
taken up and mastered this language himself without a tutor. Rev. 
Bibb's last services before his death were for the congregation of 
the First Baptist Church in the city of Hinton. 

He married a daughter of Rev. Mathew Ellison, one of the 


pioneer Baptist preachers of West Virginia, who was a learned au- 
thority in its doctrines. He died at a very advanced age at Alder- 
son, a few years ago. Rev. Mathew Ellison just referred to was 
the fourth pastor of this church, having been elected in 1866, and 
retained the same for many years at a salary of $100.00 per year, 
Mr. Bibb having been the pastor in 1855, at a salary of, first, $50.00, 
and then $75.00 a year. 

I notice that on the 27th day of June, 1855, C. B. Martin was 
expelled for lying; and another note was made by the clerk, show- 
ing that about that time the highest waters on Lick Creek ever 
known, and for that reason no meetings were held at the regular 
appointments, which was in the spring of 1852. 

I also find that a charge of grievance was brought up against 
Sister Susan Allen, by Brother N. W. Nowel, in 1860, "for having 
her infant children sprinkled, sprinkling being against Baptist faith, 
practice and order. Therefore, on motion, a committee of three 
brethren, to-wit: N. W. Nowel, John Hix and C. D. Kincaid, were 
appointed to go and see Sister Allen, and learn her reasons, if any 
she has, for so doing, and report the same to the church at their 
monthly session in November, next month." At the next meeting 
the committee reported as follows : "Reference case of Sister Allen 
was then brought before the church ; the report of the committee 
being heard, they are dismissed." Ayes and nays were then called 
for by the moderator, which resulted, by a unanimous vote, in ex- 
cluding Sister Susan Allen from the fellowship of the church for 
having her infant children sprinkled against Baptist faith and prac- 
tice, and the order excommunicating Mrs. Allen, stating that she 
didn't regret what she had done, and would do the same again 
when the circumstances required it. 

1 notice a number of the records are written by Rev. Lewis 
Marshal, one of which I take the liberty of quoting, as follows: 

"Resolved, That all persons resting under heavy charges of im- 
morality are hereby against the November session to come up and 
prove themselves clear, otherwise lay themselves liable to excom- 

C. B. Martin, on June 27, 1855, was expelled from the church 
by the congregation for lying. 

There have been numerous pastors of the church from time to 
time, and the church organization remains in continuation to the 
present time, Rev. Chambers being the present pastor. The 
names of many of the old citizens of that section, amongst them 
being, in addition to those named, Lewis Kincaid, John Duncan, 


Joseph Fink, Anderson Miller, L. M. Alderson, who was one of the 
chief stays of the organization and a very excellent citizen. These 
good people undertook to settle all differences between their mem- 
bers, and I notice at one time there was a trial between Anderson 
Miller and Joseph Fink concerning a liability claimed by the former 
from the latter on account of a colt, in which a committee was 
appointed, heard the evidence, and decided the case in favor of 
Mr. Fink. Rev. H. N. Fink, of New Richmond, an excellent citizen 
and pastor of the Saptist Church, was the son of Joseph Fink, who 
has long since died. 

About 1875, the Presbyterian congregation erected a handsome 
and comfortable frame church near the Baptist Church on that 
creek, of which Rev. Parker is now the pastor, and has been for 
several years. One of the first pastors of that church was Rev. 
Jacob H. Lewis, of Muddy Creek, one of the oldest and best Chris- 
tian characters ever known to any people. No other denominations 
have ever had any church organizations in that community except 
the Southern Methodists, who have never built a house of worship, 
they occupying the Presbyterian Church. The largest number of 
the citizens by very considerable being of the missionary Baptist 

At one time, a few years ago, a Mormon elder, claiming to oper- 
ate under the title of the Church of God, created an organization 
between Green Sulphur and New Richmond, occupying a public 
schoolhouse, which flourished for a number of years, having a 
number of converts, but which organization has long since gone 
down and disappeared. 


This church is located at Lowell Depot, on Greenbrier River, 
near the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway, and is named after the old 
settlers of that community, the first being Conrad Keller. This 
church was organized December 1, 1887. by a committee of the 
Greenbrier Presbytery, and was at that time within the bounds of 
Centerville Presbyterian Church. 

The committee organizing this church was composed of Rev. 
Dr. Wightman, of Hinton, then pastor of the Presbyterian Church 
of that town, Rev. Jacob H. Lewis, of Muddy Creek, Greenbrier 
County, and Elder James Mann, of Alderson, Dr. Wightman 
being the moderator. - There were twenty-six names enrolled at 
the organization. The first records of that church are made in 


what I take to be the handwriting of the Hon. AVm. Haynes, the 
name of the church being selected as "Keller Church" at that time, 
and the following ofificers were elected, to-wit : elders, John Hinch- 
man and William Haynes; deacon, Henry F. Kesler; Rev. Jacob 
H. Lewis was unanimously selected as the first pastor of that 
church, it being arranged that he should preach at Keller's Church 
and Riverview on the same Sunday, preaching twice a month, 
beginning on the 25th day of December, 1887. William Haynes 
was the clerk of the organization, and was afterwards made clerk 
of the church. 

William Haynes was the first representative from the church 
to the Presbytery, and was appointed on the 16th day of Septem- 
ber, 1888. The second pastor was Rev. E. D. Jefifries, and the 
Lowell and Alderson Churches were grouped together. The first 
financial statement made by Deacon H. F. Kesler, who reported 
for the benevolent boards, $24.49. Home missions, $8.00 : educa- 
tion, $8.00; foreign missions, $6.00; publication, $2.50. The 
amount paid the first pastor, Mr. Lewis, for his services was $37.00. 

On the third day of March, 1889, George Keller was elected 
an elder, and J. Wm. Gwinn and James Gwinn, deacons. The first 
administration of the Lord's Supper was administered on this 
date. George Keller was the next representative to the Presbytery, 
with William Haynes, alternate. Wm. Haynes was appointed by 
the meeting delegate to the Synod, and John Hinchman, alternate. 
Rev. Geo. T. Lyle was the third pastor of this church, and served 
the same one Sunday of each month, preaching the same date at 
RivervieW; for which he was paid the salary of $125.00. 

On the 19th day of July, the following testimonial was entered 
on the records of the chtirch in regard to the death of Mr. John 
Hinchman : 

"Whereas, It has pleased Almighty God. in His infinite love 
and wisdom, to remove 'from the church militant to the church 
triumphant our friend and fellow member, John Hinchman; and 

"Whereas, Our brother has been identified with the Presby- 
terian Church as a member, deacon and ruling elder for more than 
fifty years; therefore, resolved, 

"First. That our church has lost one of its chief supporters 
and brother, who, by his upright and consistent life of sixty-nine 
years, has stamped his impress upon this community, and of whom 
we believe it can be verily said, 'He walked with God.' 

"Second. That a copy of these resolutions be sent to the be- 


reaved family, and that they be spread on the church records and 
pubHshed in the 'Central Presbyterian and Monroe Watchman/ 
by order of the session. 

(Signed) : WM. HAYNES, Clerk." 

On the 11th day of August, 1896, Henry F. Kesler and James 
Gwinn, who was a son of Andrew Gwinn, were each elected elders, 
and John -Hinchman and Andrew Campbell were each elected 
deacons, and they were duly ordained by Pastor G. T. Lyle, on the 
17th day of October, 1896. At this date the minister's salary was 
$14.00 short, for the payment of which the officers proceeded im- 
mediately to arrange. 

We give below the resolution of this church on the death of the 
Hon. Wm. Haynes, who had been its clerk from its foundation to 
the 17th day of April, 1897: 

"Whereas, It has pleased the Lord Jesus Christ, the great head 
of the church, to take to Himself our beloved brother, William 
Haynes, and member of the session of this church and its only 
clerk since its organization. 

"Resolved, That what has been Brother Haynes's gain has been, 
as far as we can see, a severe loss to our church and session. 

Second. That we hereby give testimony to the faithfulness of 
Brother Haynes in the discharge of all duties, and our high appre- 
ciation of him as a gentleman and a counselor in afifairs, and as a 
follower of Christ. 

"Third. That we extend our sympathies to his bereaved family 
and forward them a copy of these resolutions, that they may have 
evidence of our high appreciation of the husband and father they 
have lost." 

Henry F. Kesler was elected at this date clerk of the church, 
and remains such to this day. 

The organ for this church was purchased during the year 1897.- 
The Greenbrier Presbytery was entertained by this church at its 
session in 1898, and on the 19th day of February of that year James 
Gwinn, Andrew L. Campbell, John Hinchman, Jr., and H. F. Kes- 
ler were selected as the trustees of the church, and certified to the 
circuit court for appointment. Rev. Geo. T. Lyle remained pastor 
of this church until his resignation on account of ill health, on 
December 16, 1899, and Rev. J. H. Lewis was again selected as 
pastor, which he accepted, afterwards resigning, and F. P. Syden- 
stricker was engaged as the pr^esent pastor of this church, who is 
still the pastor. 


The church edifice at this time consists of a neat frame build- 
mg, which was built and completed just prior to the organization 
of the church in 1887, and was dedicated on June 26, 1887, the 
dedication sermon being preached by Rev. John Brown, then of 
Maiden, and now of Lewisburg. 

I am enabled to give the history of this church by the courtesy 
of Mr. James Gwinn, who kindly furnished me the records of the 
session ending January 20, 1900. Marshall Johnson has also been 
elected as an elder of the church. 

While this church building was owned by the Presbyterian 
denomination, they permitted its use once a month, when desired 
by the Methodists and other denominations, being an instance of 
the growing liberty and generosity of one Christian denomination 
towards another in these modern times. A church parsonage lot 
has been given by Mr. George Keller to the church as a donation, 
but no building has as yet been erected thereon. 


The Presbyterian Church at Green Sulphur Springs was organ- 
ized June 19, 1881, with about twenty-six members, most, if not 
all, of whom were transferred from the McElhenney Presbyterian 
Church at Grassy Meadows, Greenbrier County. The first ruling 
elders were A. A. Miller, Michael Hutchinson and Dr. N. W. Noel, 
the last being clerk of session. Thos. A. George was deacon. He 
still holds that office. 

The church building was erected in 1880, and was dedicated 
October 16th of the same year, Rev. John C. Brown preaching the 

Long before the organization. Rev. John McElhenney, of Lewis- 
burg, would occasionally preach to the people in a private house. 
Later, services were more regularly maintained in the Baptist 
church building by Rev. James Haynes, Rev. David S. Syden- 
stricker (now D. D.) and Rev. Jacob PL Lewis. 

Since organization the church has been served by the following 
ministers : 

Rev. Jacob H. Lewis 1881—1884 

Rev. J. W. Wightman, D. D 1884—1889 

Rev. Jacob H. Lewis 1889—1894 

Rev. George T. Lyle 1894—1899 

Rev. F. P. Sydenstricker 1899—1903 

Rev. N. A. Parker 1904 — present 



The Fairview Baptist Church at Forest Hill, Summers County, 
West Virginia, was organized under the name of "Little Wolf 
Creek Baptist Church" on the 21st day of May, 1859. 

Rev. W. G. Margrave, Rev. M. Ellison, Rev. John Bragg and 
Rev. Rufus Pack composed the Presbytery, with Rufus Pack as 
chairman and G. W. Peters, secretary. This church was organized 
with twenty-five members, with John Bragg as pastor and James A. 
Hutchinson, church clerk'; John Woodrum, James Ferell and James 
K. Scott, deacons. 

The pastorate of Rev. John Bragg continued from the organi- 
zation to January, 1862. 

The Civil War being in progress, the church had no pastor 
from January, 1862, till May, 1863, when Rev. Rufus Pack was 
elected pastor, preaching only on Sundays, and only occasionally 
on account of the war. Beginning with August 3, 1866, the church 
held regular services, with Rev. Rufus Pack as pastor, who con- 
tined in this capacity till January, 1873. At the February meeting 
in 1873, Rev. James Sweeney was chosen pastor, and he served the 
church faithfully till September, 1875. 

In December, 1875, Rev. A. D. Bolton was elected pastor, serv- 
ing the church regularly till December, 1882. 

Rev. G. W. Wesley was the pastor from October, 1883, till 
August, 1885. 

Rev. W. F. Hank was called to the pastorate,- and served in this 
capacity from August, 1885, till July, 1893. 

Rev. J. B. Chambers began his work as pastor June, 1894, and 
was succeeded in 1897 by Rev. J. W. Crawford, who continued as 
pastor till September, 1903. 

The pastorate of Rev. H. McLaughlin began January, 1904, and 
ended with the year. 

The church then called Rev. J. B. Chambers for the second time, 
and who is now the pastor. 

A. M. Hutchinson, church clerk, to whom I am indebted for 

Charles Garten, Sen. A. M. Hutchinson, Major James Hutch- 
inson, J. C. Woodson, H. A. and J. D. Bolton and others were 
members and strong supporters of this church. A substantial 
frame church was erected at Forest Hill some twenty years ago 
by the efforts of these and other members. 



This church was organized on the 25th day of April, 1874, by 
Father D. P. Walsh, who remained its pastor for more than twenty- 
five years. He proceeded, in the early days of the town, to select 
with excellent judgment the lot, 50 x 140 feet, and procured from 
the C. & O. Railroad a deed on the 26th of May, 1874, for which he 
paid $100.00, and the lot was conveyed for church purposes, B. R. 
Dunn being the negotiator, for what has eventually become one 
of the best and most desirable lots in the city of Hinton, for his 
church buildings, and Father Walsh proceeded in 1878 to erect 
thereon a one-story frame house of worship, with rooms for the 
pastor connected therewith. (The same has recently been remod- 
eled, and is now occupied by the present pastor, and Heflin, Lively 
& Higginbotham, as law offices.) 

This church building was occupied until 1898, when a new, 
modern brick church was erected, with basement, the construction 
being superintended by Father Werniger. The pastors since the 
resignation of Father Walsh have been Fathers Gormerly, Sulli- 
van and Swint, the present pastor in charge, and who has been in 
charge since the first of the year 1905. The bell was placed in the 
church in the fall of that year. This was the first Catholic organi- 
zation in all this region of the State. 

Father Walsh, as he is familiarly known, is still a resident of 
this city, and is one of the old pioneers of the town and the Catholic 
organizer throughout this section. He ministered to all Catholics 
from Alderson west to Kanawha Falls, and from Beckley to Spring- 
dale. And it was under Father Walsh and his supervision that the 
Catholic Church of St. Kerrens, at Springdale, b^ayette County, 
was erected, and the Church of St. Coleman, on Irish ^Mountain, in 
Raleigh County, was constructed. He is a native of Ireland, emi- 
grating to this country in his younger days ; was educated for the 
priesthood at St. Vincent's College. Wheeling. He was the mis- 
sionary Catholic pastor for all this region above mentioned, from 
the 29th day of April, 1874, until his acceptance of a pastorate in 
another mission in 1897, having been installed by Bishop Whalan, 
the first Bishop of Wheeling, and he is justly entitled to the name 
of the "Father of Catholicism" in all this region of the State, travel- 
ing over mountains, ministering to the spiritual wants and welfare 
of the Catholics wherever they may be found, whether in congre- 
gations or in separate families, situated in isolated locations in the 
mountains and what was then a practical wilderness. 


After his change of location, he for a short time was transferred 
to a church at Rollesburg, Preston County, but soon afterwards 
returned to Hinton, being attached to his old town, and is now 
and has remained a citizen of this city, much beloved by his old 
parishioners and those friends who know him best. 

One of the first, if not the first, Catholic families to settle within 
the limits of the county was James Hurley, a native of Ireland, 
who bought 400 acres of land on the Lick Creek side of the high- 
est part of Keeney's Knob, where he raised a family of six children 
— ^Morris L., who emigrated to Kansas and died ; William, who 
now lives in Kansas, and Michael, who lives in Raleigh County, 
and Nora, Mary and Bridget, who married Joseph Dick. They 
were thrifty and devout people. Another Catholic settlement was 
made by Irish emigrants on the mountain above Elton, consisting 
of the Hurleys, Twohigs, Connellys and McGuires. These pioneer 
Catholic settlers were visited by Father Wallace, an itinerant priest 
from White Sulphur and Lewisburg. The only Catholic Church 
in the county or ever organized therein, is that of St. Patrick's in 
Hinton, founded by Father Walsh. 


This charge was organized in 1883. The first preacher in charge 
was Rufus M.Wheeler, who remained for one year, and those preach- 
ers in charge since that date are as follows: J. L. Hendersen, three 
years; S. S. Troy, one year; T. J. Miller, two years; I. J. Michael, 
one year; J. J. Crickenberger, three years; J. G. May, four years; 
H. A. Wilson, four years; C. B. LeFew, one year; H. Lawson, 
one year; S. R. Snead, three years, and is the present pastor. A 
comfortable parsonage has been acquired, the title to which is 
held by B. L. Kessler, J. F. Leftwich, Granger Holstine, Richard 
McNeer and Jas. M. Allen, trustees, confirmed by the circuit court 
February 2, 1895. All of these trustees are the descendants oi 
pioneer settlers in this section. B. L. Kessler is a son of Abraham 
C. Kessler; J. F. Leftwich, a son of David Leftwich; Granger 
Holstine, the son of Thomas Holstine, who has for many years 
been one of the mainstays and principal retainers of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church South in this county. He married a Kincaid, 
one of the descendants of the old settler, and whose wife inherited 
one of the interests in the town upon which Talcott is located, 
and was a party to the famous Carnes case, but had no interest 
therein at that time by reason of her having aliened her title long 


before. Richard McNeer, a citizen of Forest Hill, is a descendant 
of the ancient McNeer family of Monroe. Jas. M. Allen is a son 
of the old Methodist patriarch, Nathaniel Allen, of Pisgah. 

A neat frame house of worship was erected soon after the or- 
ganization of the church on the bank of the Greenbrier. 


This church was organized a number of years before the war. 
The first church building was a log house on the site where the 
present frame house stands. The frame church was dedicated in 
1860 by Rev. Phelps, a famous Methodist presiding elder who lived 
at Lewisburg. It was then in Peterstown Circuit and a part of 
the Baltimore Conference. The church building was one of the 
very first frame churches ever built in the county, and it was part 
of the property over which there was strenuous litigation after the 
war, it being claimed by the southern branch of the church, but the 
title was in the mother church. In 1867 the southern church was or- 
ganized at Forest Hill by Rev. Caddin Wiseman, who was the first 
preacher. He was on the circuit for one year, and was succeeded by 
Rev. Snapp, then by Rev. Troy, Rev. John Canter, Rev. Rufus M. 
Wheeler, who served five years, in the Peterstown Circuit four, and 
Talcott Circuit, one, which latter circuit was constructed at the time 
and Forest Hill included therein. Reverends J. Kyle Gilbert, J. L. 
Henderson, Michael, G. S. Mayes, La Few, and Rev. Snead being 
the present pastor. This church was used for many years by 
justices of the peace to hold their courts and by public speakers 
iorpolitical meetings and other public purposes. Celebrated ora- 
tors, such as Senator Frank Hereford, Captain R. F. Dennis, 
Henry Mason Matthews, and other noted statesmen have ad- 
dressed the people therein. In the church lot is located one of the 
oldest graveyards in the county, and many of the pioneer settlers 
are buried there. This graveyard is at least seventy-five years 
old. Rev. Adam P. Boude, the eloquent minister, preached his 
first sermon in this church. As stated above, the church property 
belonged to the Methodist Episcopal Church before the Civil War 
and before the split in that church by which the M. E. Church 
South was created. The old organization after the war took pos- 
session, locked the building against ministers and people of the 
new organization, which was formed about 1867, but these radical 
members moved off to Ohio, and those remaining being of a more 
liberal, tolerant and conservative disposition, the doors were later 


thrown open in a true Christian spirit, and the Church South has 
for many years had full use of the building, controlling the same, 
the legal title remaining in the northern branch of the church, of 
which members are very few at this time, some twelve in number. 
The Church South at that place has a membership of seventy. 
The church building is one of the best in the county. It was used 
for many years as a place for holding the elections. At that time 
the voters for many miles around went to Forest Hill to vote. It 
was then known as the "Farms." The Bucklands and Grimmetts 
from Big Creek, the voters to the mouth of Greenbrier, and ex- 
tending to the Red Sulphur Springs, came to Forest Hill to vote. 
Later, Indian Mills precinct was established, the large grist mill 
now owned by C. A. Baber and others was built, and it divided 
the honors with Forest Hill. At Forest Hill there has been as 
many as two stores for many years. It had a large tobacco fac- 
tory at one time, and there is a strong Missionary Baptist Church 
congregation at that place, also at which there is a cemetery, and 
in the yard of which is the monument to Mike Foster, the brave 
Confederate soldier, was unveiled in 1907. 


I am unable to give as complete a record of this church as it is 
entitled to, but give the best information which I am able to ascer- 
tain. I am under obligations to Rev. G. W. Ogden, a very promi- 
nent citizen of Raleigh County and an able minister of the Christian 
Church, and to ^Ir. AVm. A. Lowe, of Indian Mills, for facts we are 
enabled to present. 

This church was organized at Indian Mills in the year 1865, by 
Messrs. Ballard and Cowgill, with an original membership of 
fifteen communicants. There has been during the intervening years 
as many as 200 members added from time to time, many of whom 
have died, while others have removed and sought new homes in 
other sections of the country, and are not now residents of the 
county and State. 

Church property of the value of $800 has been acquired, and 
the congregation now occupies a neat, comfortable frame church 
at the Mills, mouth of Bradshaw's Run, and the title is held by 
deed to the trustees. Among the regular pastors were Rev. Pow- 
hatan B. Baber, the father of Charles A. Baber; Rev. James D. 
Johnston, Rev. A. T. Maupin and Rev. C. H. Poage. 

Many protracted meetings have been held at this church, some 


by the regular pastors and others by evangehsts, including Rev- 
erends J. D. Hamaker, Arthur Thorns, R. W. Lilly and J. C. 


Rev. Wilbur F. Hank, who is mentioned in this narrative, is 
a native of Monroe County, now living at Land Crafts Ferry. He 
is a son of an ancient Monroe family, the son of Rev. Jehu Hank, 
a Methodist (E. South), who was known far and wide for his great 
ability as a singer and musician, and his son is endowed with the 
same accomplishment; besides, he is an eloquent and practical 
missionary Baptist minister. He owns a handsome residence and 
has reared an accomplished family, one son being a Baptist min- 
ister at Kenova, and who married Miss Haynes, a daughter of 
Joseph N. Haynes ; another son is an employee of the C. & O. 
Railway as agent at Belva, W. Va. Mr. Hank has many times 
been urged to become a candidate for the Legislature by his Demo- 
cratic friends, but has declined. He is a prominent and useful 

The Central Baptist Church of Hinton was organized in the 
old Bruce Hall, which was afterwards remodeled, and is now known 
as Hotel Miller, in 1894. The first pastor was Rev. Mullaney, a 
minister from Pennsylvania. After using the old Bruce Hall for 
some time, the Opera House of Col. J. A. Parker was rented, which 
was occupied as a church for six months, at which time the church 
purchased the building on the corner of Second and Ballangee 
Streets, now occupied by Charlton & Grimmett as a storeroom, 
which was fitted up and occupied as a church for some time. Later, 
this property was sold, and a lot 48 x 70 feet purchased from James 
H. Miller on Ballangee Street, on which a modern frame church 
building was erected. 

Mr. Mullaney undertook to operate the politics of the city of 
Hinton, and became quite unpopular, although a very interesting 
and eloquent preacher, so that his pastorate continued for only 
about one year. The next pastor was Rev. C. T. Kirtner, a native 
of Mercer County, who married a daughter of Mr. Joseph Nowlin, 
of Pence's Springs. He was the first pastor to occupy the pulpit 
of the new church building, and did excellent work for his congre- 
gation while pastor. The third pastor was Rev. George Spencer, 
of Philadelphia, who remained with the church about two years, 
and then resigned. 

After his resignation Rev. A. A. McClelland was called by the 


congreg-ation, and served them satisfactorily for two years, resign- 
ing of his own accord, after which the present pastor. Rev. H. W. 
Stoneham, was called, and took charge. Rev. Stoneham resigned 
in 1905, to accept a more advantageous call at the old Sweet Springs 
Church, in Monroe County. 

The church, from the date of its organization, has continually 
grown. It encumbered its property with a large debt upon its 
organization, which it has been gradually decreasing. George W. 
Thomas, J. A. Graham, Joseph Grady, of the gentlemen, and Mrs. 
E. A. Gooch, Mrs. Julia Huddleston, Mrs. A. H. Phillips and Mrs. 
G. W. Thomas, of the ladies, are active and leading members of 
this congregation and in the church work. 

The first trustees were : Geo. W. Thomas, J. A. Graham and 
Joseph Grady. 

This church organization originatel from a "split" in the First 
Baptist Church, by reason of dissensions growing out of the calling 
of Rev. W. W. Smith, an evangelist who had formerly held a great 
revival in the city of Hinton. A portion of the congregation of the 
First Baptist Church were dissatisfied with the calling of Mr. Smith, 
whose call, however, was regular and by a majority of the church 
members. The minority, however, refused to accede to the action 
of the majority, and formed a separate organization, having au- 
thority as provided under the rules and regulations of the Mission- 
ary Baptist Church. 

The baptistry for this church was erected in 1907, through the 
enterprise of its lady members, and the church debt eliminated, 
which was also largely due to those devout lady members. Rev. 
Hall is the present pastor by recent election in 1907. 


This church is about three miles from Talcott, and is a neat 
frame church, which has been built in recent years to take the place 
of the old log church which was one of the first built in the county. 
The trustees are Thomas J. Holstine and Wilson Maddy, confirmed 
in 1880. Both are descendants of old settlers. Mr. Thomas J. Hol- 
stine is one of the pillars of the Methodist Church in this county, 
and one of the county's best citizens. He married a Miss Kincaid, 
a descendant of the old settler at Talcott. He resides on the Big 
Bend Mountain, near the Pisgah Church, of which he is one of the 
principal retainers. Richard McNeer is a direct descendant of the 
old settler of Monroe of that name. This county had within its 


borders, and has to this day, as pure a type of Americanism as any 
county within the Commonwealth. There are a few that even to 
this day might be deemed foreigners — that is, those who came direct 
from foreign lands — as will be noticed from the names of persons 
holding important positions, as in this case of MeNeer and Holstine. 
Rev. Sneed is the present pastor. Squire W. C. Hedrick and J. F. 
Leftwich are active officers of the church, which is situated at 
Ballengee Post Office. 


The Bluestone Baptist Church, now located at Jumping Branch, 
was organized in the year 1798, in the house of Rev. Josiah Meador, 
on Little Bluestone River. The house was a double log cabin, 
with a dirt floor, where the people met to worship for several 
years. Eventually a rude log house was built. It had but one 
door and no windows. In this building they worshiped for many 
years. The membership was small and scattered from the mouth 
of East River, in Giles County, Virginia, to the marshes of Coal, 
in Raleigh County. Although living so far from the place of wor- 
ship, these people gathered on Friday evening before their regu- 
lar appointment and stayed until Monday, having preaching twice 
on Saturday and twice on Sunday. Monday morning at an early 
hour they started for their homes, thankful for the privilege of 
meeting each other and worshiping the God of their fathers. 

Rev. Josiah Meador was their first pastor, who served them 
for several years. He was succeeded by Rev. Rev. Jackson Keaton. 
After a long, successful pastorate Rev. James Ellison became their 
pastor. He was the father of the late Matthew Ellison, and his 
pastorate was a successful one. As the country was being settled 
the membership seemed to drift towards Jumping Branch, and a 
log house was built near that place, which was l)urnc(l. The people 
came together -and built another on the same foundation. In after 
years they built a log house on the hill near the old Lilly farm, 
which was burned by the Federal troops in time of the war. In 
the burning of this house all of the old records were destroyed. 
Rev. Matthew Ellison became its pastor. He was succeedeed by 
Rev Rufus Pack, who served them until he moved West. Rev. 
John Bragg also served the church as pastor, perhaps before Rev. 
Rufus Pack. After Rev. Rufus Pack, Rev. Lewi? Kincaid was 
pastor, and served the church until his death. He preached his 
last sermon in the church that now stands at Jumping Branch. 


He complained of not being well, and after preaching Sunday morn- 
ings he mounted his horse and rode to the home of Allen Mead- 
ows, on New River, and was not able to go home, and after a 
week or more of suffering he died. Rev. R. H. Stuart then became 
the pastor. His pastorate was short. He was succeeded by Rev, 
A. D. Bolton. In the spring of 1890, W. F. Hank was called to the 
pastorate, and served them until January, 1906, and to his cour- 
tesy I am indebted for information concerning this church. 

A new, neat and comfortable frame church is now in use by this 
congregation. Mr. G. F. Meadows, the merchant, is one of the 
"pillars" of that church. He devotes much of his best energies 
for its progress and advancement, and occasionally fills the pulpit 
acceptably to the congregation, being a good minister, as well as a 
good merchant. 



At the beginning there were, of course, no hotels in the county, 
nor what may be termed boarding houses. A number of the citizens 
took out licenses for what was called private entertainment, as 
Hon. Gordon Jordan, of Pipestem, did, and entertained a great 
number of persons passing through to Princeton and Mercer 
County. The attorneys from Llonroe and Greenbrier who attended 
the Mercer courts almost universally "stopped with" Mr. Jordan. 
Among these were U. S. Senator Frank Hereford, of Union ; Col. 
Jas. W. Davis, of Lewisburg; Senator John E. Kenna, of Charles- 
ton, as well as, frequently, the judges. Mr. Jordan kept "open 
house" on his farm near Pipestem, a kind of half-way point. Rev. 
Rufus Pack, who lived on the Plumley farm, at the lower end of 
which was the old log house, the first court house ; James Keatley, 
at mouth of Indian; John A. Richmond, at mouth of Lick Creek; 
Dr. John G. Manser, at mouth of Greenbrier; Nick Deeds (C. B.), 
at Jumping Branch. Each kept houses of entertainment, for which 
they had license from the county court now corresponding to our 
modern hotels. Also C. E. Stevenson at the brick house near Jump- 
ing Branch. 

Mrs. M. S. Gentry opened up the first boarding house in Tlin- 
ton in the old Hinton log house, where Joe and Silas were born. . 

The first hotel was built by W. C. Ridgeway, one of the first set- 
tlers, who erected a three-story frame hotel on the site of the corner 
of Third Avenue and Front Street, how familiarly known as "Scrap- 
per's Corner," owned by Mrs. R. S. Tyree. Mr. Ridgeway was 
something of a notorious character, being a Democrat, without 
religious connections ; warm and generous of heart ; a liquor seller, 
whether license was granted or not, and indicted many times. It 
was, without confirmation, claimed that Mr. Ridgeway vended his 
own spirits in the basement of his hotel, and that he therein oper- 
ated a moonshine distillery. Several years after the erection of this 
building it was destroyed by fire, and in the basement were a lot 


of irons and pipes which may have been a distillery. If so, it was 
not discovered by the lynx-eyed officers of Uncle Sam. About the 
same time that this building was constructed the Wickham House 
was built on the opposite corner by M. A. RifTe, now owned by 
Col. J. A. Parker. This was owned and operated a number of years 
by M. A. Riffe, a son of D. M. Riffe, and was considered a fine hotel 
in those days. Perkins & Sprowel, about the same time, built the 
New River Hotel, lower down on Front Street, where the Perkins 
Hotel is now standing (now owned by H. Ewart), and which is 
operated and known as the Chesapeake Hotel, being a three-story 
brick, with an "L" on Fourth Avenue, having about forty rooms. 
The old Sprowel & Perkins building was a long two-story building. 
A. B. Perkins, one of the first settlers of Hinton, and now residing 
in the city of Parkersburg, was the builder of this old hotel, and, 
later, the Chesapeake on the same site and he also built the brick 
hotel at the ferry opposite the present old frame freight depot, 
about 1885. 

Furgeson Brothers, early in the eighties, built a three-story 
brick hotel on Third Avenue, across the alley from the D. H. Peck 
property, where the "Hinton Leader" office is now operated. How- 
ever, one of the first, if not the very first, hotels in the city of Hinton 
was the building of J. M. Garden, now occupied as an apartment 
house, opposite the court house. This was known as the Hotel 
Hotchkiss, and was operated for some time by John M. Garden as 
proprietor. The only hotel ever operated in Upper Hinton or Avis 
was the old Sperry House, which was one of the first, and is the 
house long since abandoned as a hotel and used as a residence, 
owned by the Wm. James Sons Co., above the Silas Hinton home- 
stead at the Upper Ferry. This house was entirely surrounded by 
the flood of 1878, but little damage, however, was done to it. 

The Brunswick Inn, a frame structure near the present passen- 
ger depot, was erected by H. Ewart. All of the original hotels were 
wooden houses. Wickham House (Rifife's), the Hinton Hotel 
(Ridgeway's), Central Hotel (Furgeson's), New River Hotel (Per- 
kin's), were all destroyed by fire at different times. The Hotel 
Miller was opened by James W. Miller about 1894, tjpposite the 
court house square, a two-story frame building, and is still operated 
by him; the Brunswick is still being operated by John OrndoiT; 
the Chesapeake Hotel by E. N. Faulconer, and the Riverside by 
Col. J. A. Parker. This is a frame three-story house built by Col. 
J. A. Parker some eight years ago. 

The city of Hinton has never had an up-to-date, modern hotel. 


The Hinton Hotel Co. is now constructing a new building' of brick 
and concreate opposite the corner of the court house square, with 100 
rooms for guests, which is expected to be an all-around, up-to-date 
hostelry, and will be, if completed according to present plans, a 
monument to the enterprise of the city, and at this time no name 
has been selected for it. Messrs. Wm. Plumley, W. H. Warren, 
J. T. McCreery, H. Ewart, Jas. H. Miller and T. H. Lilly are the 
chief promoters of the enterprise. It will likely be named Hotel 

A new frame hotel of thirty-two rooms is now being built at 
Talcott by Messrs. Dunn & Willey, enterprising merchants of that 
town. There has been a two-story frame hotel operated at Lowell 
for some twenty years, built by A. C. Lowe, and now operated by 
the estate of C. W. Spotts, deceased. The Greenbrier Springs Com- 
pany, in 1905, erected a twenty-five-room, three-story frame hotel 
at Greenbrier Springs, known as the Greenbrier Springs Hotel. 


The new hotel in Hinton has been completed since this chapter 
was begun. It has been named the McCreery Hotel, for Thomas 
J. McCreery, the president of the company which constructed it. 
It is six stories, with 100 rooms. The building cost $90,000. the 
lot, $12,500, and the furniture, $12,000. It is a modern hotel com- 
plete in all its equipments — baths, electric lights, electric elevators, 
baths in the rooms, a telephone system complete, by which a person 
in any room can -talk to a person in New York, Chicago or San 

It is a monument to the town and to the enterprise of the men 
who built it, especially to T. J. McCreery, the president ; H. Ewart, 
secretary; T. H. Lilly, J. H. Jordan, Jas. H. Miller and William H. 
Warren, the board of directors, upon whom the burdens fell ; the 
greater part, however, on the building committee, composed of 
T. H. Lilly, J. T. McCreery and H. Ewart. Frank N. Milburn was 
the chief architect, and for making the plans received $1,000.00. 
The lot was purchased of A. E. and James H. Miller in May, 1905. 
The building was completed September 1, 1907, and thrown open 
to the public. A. E. Kelly, of Sparta, Kentucky, was elected man- 
ager. The building is 90 x 100 feet, fronting on Second Avenue and 
Ballangee Street, opposite the court house park. 

Amon^g the enterprising citizen stockholders, and in addition to 
those named, are Frank Puckett, C. B. Mahon. R. R. Flanagan, 


M. M. Meador, J. C. James, W. L. Fredeking, John Haynes, Wm. 
Plumley, Jr., Lee Walker, ]\Iayor Litsinger, R. L. Jones, Wm. H. 
Sawyers, J. Donald Humphries, M. J\I. Meador and J. B. Douglas. 
There were some others who entered into the enterprise, but their 
nerve gave way, and they undertook to throw down and defeat the 
enterprise for selfish motives, who deserve no glory or credit. 

The building is supplied with heat by steam. The dining-room 
is on the second floor. The street floor contains the lobby and five 
store or business rooms. It is the greatest and costliest structure 
constructed to this time in the county, and, as are all the other 
enterprises of Hinton, is due to the enterprise of Hinton citizens, 
and was built with their money. 



The county was created seven years after the close of the Civil 
War, generally known as the Rebellion in history. The larger part 
of the people in the territory of the county were sympathizers with 
the Southern cause, with a respectable minority, however, who 
favored the Union cause. A large number and majority were fa- 
vorable to the maintenance of the American Union, and opposed 
secession, but after their State had adopted that course, they con- 
sidered their loyalty to their State first, and followed the Confed- 
erate flag. The larger number of those who took part as soldiers 
volunteered or were drafted into the Confederate Army. Those 
opposed to dissolution of the Union were known as Union men, and 
those who sustained its action in seceding, believing in the doctrine of 
State rights under the Federal Constitution, and that that instrument 
gave each State the authority to secede at its pleasure, were called 
Confederates. There was another class of Union men who adopted 
the other course, and adhered to the Government of the United 
States, and remained loyal to that government during the four 
years of hostilities. This class was in a considera])lc minority in 
the territory of this county, as the great majority had either allied 
themselves as active participants or as sympathizers with the Con- 
federate cause, so that directly after the war the party known as 
the Confederate Conservative Party sprang up, which soon after- 
wards evolved into the Democratic party, while the Northern, or 
Union, or Federal sympathizers generally went to the Republican 
party. The anti-war party affiliations being generally severed, 
the life of the Whig party had become extinct. Many former 
Whigs became Democrats, and many former Democrats became 
Republicans, then a comparatively new party which had come into 
power in 1861, on the election of Abraham Lincoln as President. 
Generally, at that time, the ex-Confederate soldiers allied themselves 
with the Conservative or Democratic party, as then called, although 
there were some loyal Confederate soldiers who believed in the 


Republican doctrine of the tariff, and voted for Republican policies 
from the beginning. 

The party prejudices from the suspension of hostilities and at 
the time of the formation of Summers County, were rank and bitter, 
and part}' lines in national affairs and State politics closely drawn, 
but in local affairs the strictest partisanship was not exhibited. 
Party conventions and nominations were not customary in those 
days, except for political ofifices. nor even for members of the House 
of Delegates for a number of years after the formation of the county, 
but for State Senate and the higher offices conventions were op- 

The Democratic party was largely in the ascendency in the 
county at the date and after its formation ; or. rather, after the 
adoption of the "Flick amendment" to the Constitution of the State 
had been accepted. The colored vote was then and has always been 
since, entirely and solidly Republican ; the white vote divided, with 
a very considerable preponderance to the Democratic side. The 
colored vote at the date of the formation of the county was small, 
there having been few slaves within its borders, and clid not exceed 
100 in number. Dr. Thomas Fowler, of "Wildwood," at the mouth 
of Indian Creek; William Crump, of Crump's Bottom: the Gwinns 
and the Grahams and Anderson Pack were the only slave owners, 
and they generally held but few. 

John ]\'Iiller, Sr.. the grandfather of the writer, had owned three 
slaves, one man and two women, but they had been liberated before 
his death and before the war and set free, and provision made for 
their comfortable m.iintenance. 

The first political nomination or convention of which we are able 
to learn within the county was a mass-meeting called and held in 
the grove on the hill in what is now within the confines of the city 
of Avis, at the place where Dwight James now resides, at the new 
high school, and out of this meeting grew dissatisfaction and fac- 
tional dift'erences, which continued and existed for a generation or 
longer. This mass-meeting was called for the purpose of nominat- 
ing a candidate for delegate to the House of Delegates, and one 
hour was fixed in the call, but on account of another hour being 
more convenient, or certain persons desiring to be "too soon" for 
the other, the meeting was called to order and held at a different 
hour. The vote was taken by each voter writing the name of his 
choice on a slip of paper, and a hat passed around for the reception 
of the votes. Hon. Wm. Haynes, the nominee, was made the can- 
didate for the party at this election, which was to be held in the 


year 1874, it being a Democratic mass-meeting to nominte a candi- 
date for the Legislature. Hon. Elbert Fowler, then a young attor- 
ney, son of Dr. Thomas Fowler, whose -career and the unfortunate 
termination of whose life is hereafter detailed fully, was voted for, 
but he was not a candidate, and it was without his consent. 

Great dissatisfaction resulted from this meeting, it being claimed 
that the voting was unfair; that every person was allowed to vote 
as often as they pleased, etc., while, on the other hand, it was 
claimed to have been entirely fair. The dissatisfied element organ- 
ized an opposition, led by Mr. Fowler, Dr. Benj. P. Gooch, then a 
young physician and the first man who settled in the town of Hin- 
ton ; E. C. Stevenson and others. The Hon Sylvester Upton de- 
clared himself an independent candidate. No complaints were made 
against INIr. Haynes as a man or against his personal character, but 
the fight was against the manner of his candidacy. "Sir. Upton was 
a Republican, a Union man, and had been a delegate to the Legis- 
lature from Mercer County, and was such member at the passage 
of the act creating the county, and voted for it. He was a man of 
character, conservative, broad-minded and popular. Mr. Haynes 
was one of the most eminent, cultured and distinguished citizens 
of the county, and was afterwards elected to the State Senate and 
Constitutional Convention held in 1872. 

An incident is recalled of ]\Ir. Upton's legislative career. When 
a party measure was being pressed, a "whip" who was looking 
after Del'egate Upton, said to him when he had been unsuccessful 
in coaching him, and desiring to appeal to his party prejudices: 
"Sir, are you not a Republican? If so, you will support this meas- 
ure," to which ]\'Ir. Upton quietly replied, "Yes, sir. i am a Repub- 
lican, but 1 was sent here to represent the interests of all my people, 
and I shall vote as my judgment dictates and as I deem it to their 

Circulars Avere circulated throughout the county; factional feel- 
ing was vigorous and strong, and a very hard-fought campaign 
Avas the result. Mr. Upton was elected, thus defeating the nominee, 
who was charged as a ring candidate, whether justly or unjustly, 
the people thus early showing a distaste for "ring rule," and stamp- 
ing their disapproval. 

Party nominations continued to be made only by the Democratic 
party for certain offices until the year 1884, the Republicans always 
uniting on Independent candidates, who were usually, but not 
always, Republicans in politics. 

In 1884, the Democratic party made nominations for a full county 


ticket, except prosecuting attorney, there being no Republican law- 
yer then in the county, in which race Hon. Wm. R. Thompson, now 
of Huntington, and James H. Miller were the only candidates, and 
made a "scrub race." The Democratic and Republican committees 
decided to make no nomination for that olBce, and leave it to the 
people to determine between them, there existing at that time two 
factions of the Democratic party in the county, one of which was 
designated as the Fowler faction, and the other as the Thompson 
faction. Mr. Fowler supported Miller, and he was successful by the 
slim majority of only twenty-nine votes. 

No party nominations had been made prior to that election, and 
for several years after, for superintendent of free schools. In my 
chapter on Elections details and results are given as to the results 
of the various elections. The candidates for the superintendents of 
schools always ran as Independent, it being deemed advisable and 
the general policy and to the interest of the schools to keep the 
election of school of^cers out of politics, and for many years the 
election of school officers was held separate and on different dates 
from all other elections, and on "ofif" years, and no other candidates 
were voted for except school officers. 

The Democratic party has always been in the ascendancy in the 
county, and it is estimated the normal majority at this time is from 
150 to 200, if the party lines are strictly adhered to, which is seldom 
done in the selection of county officers, and there have been several 
Republicans who have filled important county offices since the for- 
mation of the county. The names of these Republicans who have 
been selected for county officers are as follows: 

Hon. Sylvester Upton, Republican member of the House of Dele- 
gates, elected in 1874. Elected on the Independent ticket. 

M. V. Calloway, Republican, elected as an Independent candi- 
date as sheriff, in 1884. 

And in 1894 the Republican party nominated a full ticket, which 
was elected in its entirety. 

Hon. M. J. Cook to the House of Delegates; Geo. W. Leftwich, 
Esq., superintendent of schools; James Allen Graham, commis- 
sioner of the county court. 

Many Republicans have been elected to district office.-. 

Frank Lively, prosecuting attorney in 1900. 

Hon. T. P. Davis, member of the Senate for the district, of 
which Summers County was then a part; Jonathan F. Lilly, Repub- 
lican, having been elected in the year 1888 as superintendent of 
schools. Mr. Lilly was elected as an Independent candidate over 


John H. Jordan, Esq., the Democratic nominee, the son of Hon. 
G. L. Jordan. Mr. Lilly was afterwards killed by his brother-in-law, 
Thomas Meador, an account of which is given in this book. Mr. 
Jordan's defeat grew largely out of the prejudice engendered against 
him by reason of his being a material though unwilling witness in 
the trial growing out of the killing of Elbert Fowler. 

The only instance in which the county has gone Republican and 
elected the whole county Republican ticket, was, as before stated, 
in the year 1894, at which time they elected all of the county officers 
which were voted for, at which time the clerks of the courts and 
the sheriff were not elected at that election. 

About the year 1880, the new party, and one which has long 
since vanished from the earth, known as the "Greenback" party, 
cut quite a figure in the politics of this county, and its candidates 
received a considerable and respectable vote, the leaders of that 
party being Allen L. Harvey, Dr. Wm. H. Talley, L. G. Lowe, 
John P. Duncan and others. They founded a newspaper, known as 
the "Hinton Banner," which was edited by Dr. Talley; nominated 
a full ticket, and their candidates were generally supported by the 
Republicans. Dr. Talley was afterwards accidentally drowned in 
another State. He resided in those days at Mandeville, in Forest 
Hill District. He was an eccentric, peculiar man, well educated 
and intelligent, but had put his ability to little use. The voters 
of the party were made up from both of the old parties, but the 
"Greenbacker" in politics usually came from the Democratic ranks. 
Its candidates were defeated; the party organization fell to pieces 
upon the death of Mr. Harve)^ and the followers of the Greenback 
doctrines fell back into the old parties, some going to the Demo- 
cratic and some to the Republican party. For instance, Mr. L. G. 
Lowe, of Indian Mills, joined the Republican organization, while 
the sons of Mr. A. L. Harvey joined the Democratic ranks, and 
to-day there is no more loyal Republican than Mr. Lowe, nor 
better and more reliable Democrats than the Messrs. Harvey — 
James H., John E. and William L. 

The "People's party," upon its organization in this country, had 
a minority following for some years, from about 1890 to 1900, but 
never a very decisive vote. The 'populists of this county were with 
Mr. Bryan, and supported him for President in 1896; they prin- 
cipally followed him and the Democratic banner. The leaders of 
that political party and organization in the county were principally 
Messrs. L D. Martin, now residing at Neponsit ; his brother, H. Z. 
Martin, now deceased; Mr. James H. Martin, of Green Sulphur 


Springs, and others, very estimable, intelligent, sincere and honest 
citizens. Both the Messrs. Martins supported the Democratic ticket 
at this time. 

The Prohibition party has never had any material strength in 
the county, although it usually receives a few scattering votes. 
The Socialist and Socialist Labor party have never had any can- 
didates in this county, and have never received any votes in the 
county. The two political parties now under organization are the 
Democratic and Republican, with H. Ewart, Esq., chairman of the 
Democratic County Committee, and E. C. Eagle, Esq., an attorney 
at Hinton, chairman of the Republican County Committee. These 
gentlemen conducted the campaigns for their respective parties 
at the elections of 1904. 

The disposition to embitter the campaigns with personalities 
still exists to some extent, and attacks are still being made on the 
personal character of the candidates, but not to the extent indulged 
in in the past political times in the county, and its indulgence is 
growing less, fortunately and properly, and where it is indulged 
in now is frequently from indiscretion and inexperience and want 
of breadth of character and generosity. The political parties, usu- 
ally, in this county have been fortunate in the nomination of men 
of character, and we hope to see the time when what is known as 
personal politics may be banished entirely, and this will come when 
the minds of the partisans are broadened by experience and ex- 
tended contact with broad-minded, patriotic people. While the 
political and official affairs of the county have been in the hands 
and under the control of Democrats from almost its foundation, 
it stands to the credit of all parties that no official scandals have 
occurred and can be justly charged to either party in this county. 
The authorities have all been honest, fair and just. The county 
has never been "bossed or ring-ridden ;" no financial failures of 
the officials or financial wrongs perpetrated upon the people, except 
in the one unfortunate instance of Evan Hinton, sherifif, in which 
he was the principal sufiferer. The office of sheriff, no doubt, caused 
his financial failure, and, unfortunately for him, all of his property, 
as well as that of practically all of his sureties, was taken in pay- 
ment of public liabilities, but in the end the county did not suffer 
loss, although during his term, and for some time afterwards, the 
county paper was below par, and it was troublesome and hard to 

At no other time during the history of the county has the county 
drafts and paper been below par, and it was as good at all times. 


and accepted as cheerfully as if it had Uncle Sam behind it. The 
county has never lost a penny from dishonest or unfaithful officials, 
and all settlements have been made and a clean slate left to pos- 

The Democratic party was for a number of years split into two 
factions. The Fowler and the Thompson were known from almost 
the formation of the county to 1896, and the fights in numerous 
instances were bitter and unfortunate, but those party disturbances 
and disorganizations have with time disappeared, and almost com- 
plete harmony now prevails within the ranks of the party within 
the county, it having long since adopted and adhered to fair and 
equitable measure for making its nominations, so that no one from 
just cause can complain of the party's actions; and, if complaint 
can at any time be justly made, it is from the injudicious actions 
of individuals, and not from the party organizations. A bobtailed 
trickster sometimes bobs up and tries to create factional animosi- 
ties, but his political life is usually nipped in. the budding. 

The methods first adopted were those of public mass-meetings 
called of the Democratic voters of the party at the court house, to 
vote for their choice of candidates, and the one receiving the great- 
est number of votes was declared the nominee. Sometimes /these 
votes were taken by ballot, and sometimes by division, but as the 
number of voters increased, and those nominations were necessarily 
made by a minority of the party, it being impossible to secure a 
majority attendance, dissatisfaction sprang up, and then the mode 
of calling district mass-meetings was adopted, by which the Demo- 
cratic voters of the Democratic party were called to meet at a fixed 
day and hour at one place in the various districts where the can- 
didates were voted for either by ballot viva voce, or by a division or 
rising vote. This gave general satisfaction for some time, but 
finally the plan of nominating by primary election, for which pro- 
visions had been made by statute enacted by the Legislature, was 
adopted. By this method the Executive Committee called an elec- 
tion to be held throughout the county at the voting precincts in 
each district, or of a part thereof, those entitled to vote being the 
Democratic voters, or those who will support the nominees. The 
election of officers, commissioners, clerks and challengers are sworn, 
the polls opened at an hour fixed by the county committee, and 
closed at a fixed hour in the afternoon, the vote being taken by 
ballots printed by the committee, with the name of each candidate 
for each office printed thereon, the voter erasing those names for 
whom he does not wish to vote. After the polls are closed, the 


results are ascertained by the commissioners of election and clerks 
and the ballots returned to the Executive Committee of the party, 
and the result declared. Before these committee contests can be 
had, the respective candidates receiving the highest number of 
votes being declared the nominees of the party. 

Usually a mass-meeting is called the week following the elec- 
tion, at which the announcements of the results are made and the 
nominations ratified, and at these meetings the delegates to con- 
ventions for the nomination of officers to be voted for outside the 
county are selected, or sometimes these delegates are selected by 
the voters on the day of the primary by the various district meet- 
ings, and this is the usual plan followed at this time. The primary 
elections being thus conducted on the principles of a general elec- 
tion, have been very generally satisfactory, and are a fair method 
for any candidate who desires fairness and justice. 

The Republican party, in the strenuous desire of some of its 
members for more offices and less labor, in order to dissatisfy the 
Democratic people and cause disruption, cry out, "court house 
ring," "town clique," etc., which is and always has been the cry of 
the "wolf when there was no wolf." The Republican party of the 
county, while it has not at any time had full control of the county 
offices or official machinery in those cases where they have held 
office in the county, they have been honestly conducted, and there 
have been no grounds for charge of fraud, and the administration 
of the offices held by them has been creditable and of credit to 
the county. 

The Republican party did not, for many years after the forma- 
tion of the county, adopt nominations for office, usually supporting 
an Independent candidate sometimes agreed on before and by their 
leaders. The Independent candidate was usually a Republican or 
a disgruntled Democrat, preparing to "flop." Our experience is, 
that when you find a disgruntled Democrat running as an Inde- 
pendent candidate, he is on the highway into the camp of our 
friends, the enemy, and not until about the year 1888 did that party 
make nominations at all ; and after they adopted the method of 
nominating, they first adopted the original plan of the Democrats, 
by selecting their candidates by mass conventions held at the court 
house. Afterwards they nominated by district meetings, and in 
1904 they nominated by district meetings called at a voting place 
in each district. 

The party was well united until after the election in 1900; and 
since the selection of postmaster in the city of Hinton, after the 


Republican success in 1900, there has been more or less dissatis- 
faction in the party ranks. At the time the last postmaster, Hon. 
S. W. Willey, was appointed, L. P. Graham was a candidate, but 
Mr. Willey was successful. The canvass was active, and the ap- 
pointment of Mr. Willey left considerable dissatisfaction among the 
friends of Mr. Graham. The Graham family was then and has 
always been prominent in the party, and had a large and respectable 
following throughout the entire county, and especially among that 
class of Republicans who had been responsible for maintaining a 
party organization from its very foundation, and when there was 
hardly a corporal's guard of followers, and the prospect of office was 
hopeless, and the party was in a hopeless minority, and at these 
times when official preferments were not bright. 

So, when the time for the election of a member of Congress in 
the year 1902 came, from the Third West Virginia District, what 
was known as the "old-timers," or Graham faction, were not spe- 
cially active, but generally supported the party nominees, the 
Willey faction, or "Blue Pencil Brigade" being in charge of the 
party organization and responsible for the party management, they 
were permitted to take charge of the campaign. That faction 
known as the "Blue Pencil Brigade," assisted largely by Demo- 
cratic floppers and converts, had gone into the ranks of that 
organization since the prospects for office therein had brightened, 
and their failure in securing preferment in the Democratic party, 
that organization not being so situated as to provide jobs for all 
its deserving members, especially at one and the same time. While 
the Democratic candidate for Congress was not supported by the 
Graham faction, he received considerable Republican votes from 
individual Republican friends, and came out of the election for 
Congress in 1902 with a majority of over 600 votes in the county 
over his opponent, Hon. Joseph H. Gaines, who was elected, how- 
ever, from the district by a majority of about 2,500, the larger part, 
however, of the old-time factions standing loyally by the nominee, 
Mr. Gaines. 

When the campaign came on in 1*)04, a very strenuous light 
arose between the two factions to secure the delegates and repre- 
sentatives to the various conventions, which included the State, 
Congressional, Senatorial and Judicial. Tiie fight was made for the 
party organization, each faction attempting to secure a majority 
of the Executive Committee, which terminated in each faction 
securing an equal number, but by some means unknown to parties 
like the writer, on the outside, a member of the Graham faction on 


the committee "flopped to the organization wing, giving them 
a majority of the county committee. Alass-meetings were called, 
to be held at a voting place in each district, for the purpose of 
selecting delegates to a county mass-meeting to be held at the 
court house. These occurrences were in the year 1904, the mass- 
meeting at the court house being composed of delegates selected at 
the various district mass-meetings. These district meetings re- 
sulted in great strenuosity. A number of fights occurred and blood 
flowed, lawlessness ensuing, especially at Talcott, in Jumping 
Branch District, persons being knocked down and fist fights being 
one of the entertainments. 

L. P. Graham and John Willey came into collision at Talcott, 
The conventions in each district? except Forest Hill, split wide 
open, each faction appointing a separate set of delegates to the 
county convention to be held on the following Saturday. In Forest 
Hill District but one set of delegates was appointed, with Charles 
A. Baber, the leader, and an old-time, loyal Republican from the 
beginning; a very popular, conservative man of fine judgment, 
who controlled the situation entirely in that district, there being only 
eleven voters opposed to his leadership. 

When the convention met at the court house there were two 
sets of delegates, and they proceeded by selecting two chairmen 
and holding two conventions in the court room at the same time, 
each faction having its orators on the floor, and pandemonium 
reigned supreme, the Brigade refusing to give the old-timers a 
hearing or voice or representation in the meeting, or to have any- 
thing to do with the selection of delegates to the various conven- 
tions, the Forest Hill delegation co-operating and acting with the 
old-timers, or Graham faction. At one time it looked very much 
like there would be bloodshed. The Chairman of the "Blue Pencil 
Brigade" faction, as it was called, Hon. Upshur Higginbotham, 
appointed a sergeant-at-arms, and ordered the court house cleared 
of the opposing faction. John Willey being appointed as one of the 
sergeants-at-arms, started forthwith to obey commands, but, com- 
ing in close proximity to W. R. Neely, Jr., of Pipestem District, he 
evidently determined that caution was safer than valor, and retired 
to a window near by and took a seat, so there were no further 
demonstrations of physical force, but great noise from the vigorous 
orators throughout the room. 

Two sets of delegates were appointed to the convention, and 
when those delegates repaired to the various conventions, the Willey 
faction, or Blue Pencil Brigade organization, was recognized gener- 


ally, and the other set of delegates turned down. At some of the 
conventions — the judicial, for one — the Graham delegates did not at- 
tend and made no effort for recognition. There were two Congres- 
sional Republican Conventions held, one of which was composed of 
those of the followers of the Hon. Wm. Seymour Edwards, of 
Kanawha, the Republican candidate for the nomination to Con- 
gress, and the other composed of the followers of the Hon. Joseph 
H. Gaines, a Republican candidate for Congress, to succeed him- 
self. The Gaines delegates were admitted to his conventions, 
and the old-timer delegates were admitted to the Edwards Con- 
vention, both conventions being held in Hinton on the same 
day. Both candidates were nominated, but before the election on 
November 8th, Mr. Edwards withdrew, and left Mr. Gaines a clear 
field, and he was elected to succeed himself in Congress over Henry 
B. Davenport, Jr., the Democratic nominee. 

Hon. S. W. Willey, the postmaster at Hinton; John Willey and 
George B. Dunn, of Talcott; L. G. Lowe, of Forest Hill; Messrs. 
Frank Lively, E. C. Eagle, Upshur Higginbotham, A. R. Heflin, 
Lucian Woolwine, Miletus Puckett, Chris. Hetzel and L. E. Dyke 
were the principal leaders of the organization, the "Blue Pencil 
Brigade," or AVilley faction, as it was called ; and Messrs. J. A. 
Graham, R. H. Maxwell, T. G. Mamm, C. H. Graham, John W. 
Graham, David G. Ballangee, W. R. Neely, M. D. Neely, C. A. 
Baber, R. R. Flanagan and James H. Hobbs were the principal lead- 
ers of the old-timers, or Graham faction. 

The mass-meeting at the court house was a history-making pro- 
ceeding. Upshur Higginbotham was made chairman of the "Blue 
Pencil Brigade" meeting, and George Dunn, secretary; W. N. 
Shanklin was chairman of the old-timer meeting, and Other Gra- 
ham, secretary. 

By the action of the organization people in refusing representa- 
tion to the old-timers and not permitting them to have a voice in the 
affairs of the party, great dissatisfaction arose, and in the coming 
election the entire responsibility of the campaign was thrown on the 
Willey faction, the Graham faction generally passively supporting 
the ticket, but assuming no responsibility for the campaign. The 
result showed a largely increased Democratic and abnormal vote" for 
its candidates, many of the Graham sympathizers and supporters 
making no fight on the nominations, except in the race for the 
judgeship, the leaders of the old-timer faction openlv voting for 
Jas. H. Miller for that position against the Hon. Frank Lively, his 
opponent and the Republican nominee. 


From these differences, which has divided it, factions have grown 
up in . the Republican party, and future Republican skirmish- 
ing in the Republican ranks may be yet expected. At the district 
primary meetings there was quite a division between the two 
factions, and we are unable to state which had the majority. At 
some places there is no doubt but what the Graham faction had 
the majority largely, while at others, the vote seemed to be about 
equal, and, possibly, in some instances, at the court house, for 
instance, where no contest was made, the organization wing 
had a majority. But the Graham faction was in no instance given 
a hearing or representation. Efforts were made to secure a com- 
promise and give each party a fair representation according to its 
strength, but the organization forces turned all advances down. 

The Democratic majority for President at this election (1904) 
in this county was 265 votes for Judge Parker and the same for 
the Hon. Henry G. Davis for Vice-President. Mr. John J. Corn- 
well, Democratic candidate for governor, received 400 majority 
over Mr. Dawson, the present incumbent. 

There are two Republican papers in the county, one the "Hin- 
ton Leader/' controlled by John Graham, of the old-timer faction, 
and the other, the "Summers Republican," edited by Upshur Hig- 
ginbotham, of the "Blue Pencil Brigade," or organization faction. 
The establishment of the "Summers Republican" grew out of these 
factional differences, and is the child of political strife. 

Both of the political parties of this county deserve credit up to 
this time of having provided good officers, and the absence of 
political or official scandals, for which so many counties and munic- 
ipalities have been afflicted in this and other States in modern 
times. No corruption can be truthfully charged against either in 
this county, and it is to be hoped that this good record may con- 
tinue to the end. There have been some charges of unfairness in 
elections, and, unfortunately, not always unfounded and not based 
without some cause. These matters will be gone into more fully 
under the head of Elections. The principal trouble in the elections 
of this county and the cities therein has been the attempt to vote 
and the votes cast by illegal negro voters, not brought into the 
county for that special purpose, but being in the county from other 
counties or States engaged on public works, or loafing, as a large 
proportion of the colored population is disposed to do. They are 
surrounded by irresponsible politicians or by "smart Alex" negroes, 
who get pay for voting them ; and many of them being naturally 
ignorant, are made to believe thev are entitled to vote, and are 


promised immunity from prosecution. They on some occasions 
force their ballots in by making the affidavit required by statute 
when their votes are challenged. An instance of this character 
occurred at the general election of 1902. There were a number of 
negro laborers, claimed to be at work on the C. & O. Railway 
at and near Hinton, all strange to the inhabitants, who came up to 
the polls of the First Ward to vote late in the evening, to the 
number of ten or twelve, in charge of a white man or two and a 
colored. In such instances the white is no better than the colored. 
They attempt to violate the law through ignorance, while the 
white man who leads them into the violation of the law does so 
with a full knowledge of the crime. These parties were challenged 
and their votes refused. A mandamus was secured from the judge 
of the circuit court. Judge McWhorter, who had been brought from 
Lewisburg on the morning of the election for the purpose ; and under 
the peremptory mandamus of the court the ballots went into the 
box. The offenders were immediately arrested and carried to jail, and 
the politicians provided bail. The negroes departed, and have never 
been seen in the county since. No forfeiture of the bail bonds was 
taken and no witnesses were summoned before the grand jury. The 
Republican party was the beneficiary of the frauds, if any were 
perpetrated, and at that time a Republican prosecuting attorney 
was in ofifice, and the action of the court, whether legitimate or 
not, permitted the votes of these people to be cast and counted. 

S. F. McBride, the publisher of the "Hinton Headlight" and 
later the "Hinton Republican." secured a position in Washington, 
after he had left Hinton and gone to Charleston, but returned to 
Hinton at each election and voted at each successive election. The 
Democrats would have him arrested, and bail would be given, but 
he was never prosecuted. At the time above referred to he was 
refused a vote, but Judge McWhorter mandamused the election com- 
missioners, and compelled them to accept and count his ballot, 
after which the judge had the election officers brought before him 
for contempt, but the excitement of the election times dying out, 
a better spirit prevailed, and they were not proceeded against. 
These parties who were hauled up for contempt were Attorneys 
Reid Dunlop and "Squire" C. L. Parker. 

The only incorporated towns in this county arc 'I'alcolt. which 
was incorporated by the circuit court about 18^0. and which, after 
two or three years, was abandoned, and ihc corp( nation not main- 
tained; Upper Hinton, or what is now included in tlic city of .Avis, 
was incorporated by the circuit court, and remained a separate and 


distinct corporation from the city of Hinton until the consoHdation 
of the two corporations by an act of the Legislature passed in 1897. 
This consolidation was dissolved by a subsequent act of the Legis- 
lature passed in 1890, so that at this time there are two incorpora- 
tions of this city, distinct municipal bodies — one, the city of Hin- 
ton, in which the court house is situated, and which includes the 
territory from the jail, running to the mountain west, and the 
other, the territory east, formerly Upper Hinton. 

In the city of Hinton for many years there were no party nomi- 
nations, Independent candidates making the races and the elections 
fought out regardless of political afifiliations. The first nomination 
for a candidate for mayor was that of Mr. R. E. Noel, who was 
nominated at a mass-meeting called at the court house, at which 
there were probably twenty people present, and being an innovation 
and irregular, was resented by a large part of the people. Dr. S. 
P, Peck, a Republican of liberal and broad views, was induced to 
make the race against Mr. Noel, who was one of the best and most 
enterprising citizens of the town. Dr. Peck was elected by a slim 
majority of only one vote. 

Nominations for city offices in that town did not become a fixed 
proceeding until later, about the year 1890, after which the city 
authorities have been Democratic, only one Republican mayor 
having been elected, which was Squire L. M. Dunn, who was elected 
in the year 1892. 

By maintaining the high ideals of official honor, the people have 
created a force and power, individual and collective, but strong, 
which tends to unify and add strength to a magnificent patriotism, 
as well as a glorious enthusiasm for the great republic, which was 
made powerful by the blood and arms of fellow countrymen, and 
which has continued the strong republicanism of ideas and ideals 
which perils have only tended to strengthen, and the ability of 
this land to maintain itself has been fully exhibited as against the 
unanimous antagonism of all the nations of monarchial Europe. 
Every hamlet, every small municipality, when all are united for 
good and free government, go to make up a great country, with all 
its glory, strength and power, and to maintain a well-balanced 
government, and a free land requires political parties and political 
antagonisms. There was a disposition, prompt and strong, after 
the fires of civil war had perished in all this region, among all 
patriots to cast ofif the Jacobins of abolition, as well as those of 
the Southern slaveholders, which had done so much to plunge the 
country into fratricidial strife a few years before, and for which 


the people were so little responsible. The new nation had a thorny 
road to travel for many years. Surmounting every obstacle, the 
nation grew great. Internal strife broke into dreadful war ; the 
life of the nation trembled in the balance, but it was saved and the 
nation born again. It arose with greater and stronger vigor than 
before. The men who strove against each other became friends ; 
then began the scenes leading up to the present — the wonderful 
panorama of an industrial development which has no parallel in 
the history of any country, including the minimized territory within 
the prescribed limits of this mountain fastness, in the space of no 
less than forty years, in agricultural industries, commercial prog- 
ress, intellectual attainments, high ideals and its standards of civ- 



At the date of the formation of the county there were but few 
roads and highways, and those that did exist were unfinished and 
of poor grade. The law existing at that date provided for each 
district to be laid off into road precincts and a surveyor appointed 
by the Board of Supervisors, afterwards by the county court, with 
the hands in the neighborhood of the respective precincts allotted 
thereto, who were compelled, between the ages of twenty-one and 
forty-five years,, to work such number of days as appointed by the 
county authorities, not exceeding six. The roads were built and 
kept up by public labor, the county being sparsely settled, as will 
be noted by the number of votes cast in the early days. There 
were no highways except through the generally most populous 
precincts, and led to such commercial marts as then existed. The 
Red Sulphur and Kanawha Turnpike, a State road, had been con- 
structed before the war from the Red Sulphur by the mouth of 
Indian, down New River to Pack's Ferry ; thence across into Jump- 
ing Branch, at or near the mouth of Leatherwood, and out to Jump- 
ing Branch Village ; thence by Shady Springs to Beckley, into Fay- 
etteville and Kanawha Falls, at which place it united with the 
James River and Kanawha Turnpike, leading to Charleston. This 
turnpike became a county road after the formation of West Vir- 

There was a road leading up Xew River by way of the mouth 
of Bluestone, crossing at Landcraft's Ferry ; thence back down New 
River, up Bluestone to the foot of Tallory Mountain, up said moun- 
tain to Pipestem, by the G. L. Jordan and B. P. Shumate locations, 
on to Concord Church and Princeton. 

A "bridle path" from the mouth of Greenbrier down to Rich- 
mond's Falls, which was destroyed by the Chesapeake & Ohio Rail- 
way Company, as detailed in another chapter. A road had been built 
up Lick Creek to Green Sulphur over Keeney's Knob on to Hayne's 
Ferry on Greenbrier River, and on through to Johnson's Cross 

Farmer, Teacher and Lumbermau. Desceudaiu »( tlie Ancient Pio- 
neer, Colonel James Graham. 



tifL fee's ■fovu'^K r H»it. 



Roads, in Monroe County, one leading from Green Sulphur to the 
Big Meadows by way of Hutchinson's Mill, now Elton ; one from 
Forest Hill to Rollinsburg, now Talcott, with a few cross roads, 
but those above named were practically all, and what roads were 
built at the formation of the county were dug out of the hills by 
the hard labor of the pioneers, some of the hands having to travel 
ten miles from their homes and then perform a day's labor or a 
certain task allotted to them by the surveyor. A man would go 
and return home from this labor and do a day's work or an allotted 

My father and others of his neighborhood along Lick Creek 
built the road from Green Sulphur Springs to New Richmond by 
day's labor, and sometimes would work all night to complete their 
task, in order to save the long walk of returning home at night and 
again returning to their work in the morning, a distance of eight 

The road across Keeney's Knob to Clayton Post Office was 
built in the same way. The building of this road was equivalent 
almost to crossing the Alps. The road to the Big Meadows across 
Patterson's Mountain was also built in the same manner, but since 
the formation of , the county, the farmers from all the region are 
required to work on the road being built. 

We frequently at this day hear violent complaints of the con- 
dition of our roads in the county, but when we consider the rough 
character of our county — its broken, rocky and mountainous sur- 
face, the poverty and hardships under which the roads have been 
made, working boys originally from sixteen years to fifty, and 
from six to twelve days out of the year, we can appreciate the 
hardships under which our highways have been made, and realize 
that the cause of complaint is not well taken. 

At the present time all the districts of the county build and 
keep up their public roads, or highways, known as county roads, 
by taxation, except Jumping Branch and Pipestem. One misfor- 
tune has been in the unfortunate grades made in locating many of 
the public highways by unscientific engineering in the early days. 
At this time there are roads and highways into almost every nook 
and neighborhood within the county's borders, and they are being 
extended and improved as the years go by. Each of the high 
mountains of the county is now crossed and penetrated by one or 
more county roads, with changes of the grades gradually progress- 
ing for their betterment each year. We doubt if there is a county 
in the State with a harder or more difficult territory over which to 


construct its public highways. An examination of the first records 
made by our county authorities after the organization of the county 
shows that the question of the pubHc roads began to be a matter 
of public interest. They at once began having the locations viewed, 
roads established, changes made and hands assigned, and the 
records are full of orders authorizing and directing these advance- 
ments for the location and establishment of the new roads. One 
of the first changes recorded was to set the road back from New 
River on to the base of the hills from the mouth of Greenbrier to 
the mouth of Blucstone. the road formerly running up the river 
bank. Mr. C. B. Deeds, a resident of Jumping Branch District, 
and one of the pioneers of that section and most enterprising and 
hospitable of men, early began a campaign for a road up Beech 
Run, from Hinton's Ferry on New River to Jumping Branch. 
He labored long, earnestly and persistently, and finally secured its 
establishment and an appropriation from the court, Mr. Deeds con- 
tributing a large proportion of the costs from his own pocket, and 
he is well worthy of the title to that of "Father of the Beech Run 
Road," as Mr. W. G. Flanagan is entitled to be designated as the 
"Father of the road" leading up Meadow Creek from New River 
to the Little Meadows. After years of persistent appeals, labor 
and sacrifices, he secured that thoroughfare. The old roads exist- 
ing at the formation of the county were narrow and bad grades, 
going up and down, and a great many changes have been made for 
the better, they being broadened and graded. 

An instance of changes for the better is in the road from Green 
Sulphur Springs to New River, and the road up Madam's Creek 
from its mouth, for the former of which Mr. Harrison Gwinn is 
entitled to credit for his enterprise, and for the latter Mr. John H. 
Dodd and C. E. Stevenson are entitled to credit, as are Senator 
Wm. Haynes and Joseph Nowlan for the road up Greenbrier River 
from the Haynes' Ferry to the mouth of Grififith's Creek. 

The late M. A. Withrow. of Green Sulphur Springs, and James 
H. Martin, Esq., each of whom occupied the position of road sur- 
veyor for years, and were enthusiastic road men, and deserve much 
credit for the improvements of roads in that district. The road 
down New River from Hinton was destroyed, as above stated, and 
never replaced, although a bridle path has been made by the county 
to take its place across the Chestnut Mountain by way of Brooks, 
but hardly safe for an equestrian riding single. The road across 
Taylor's Ridge from Talcott to Lick Creek, from Clayton to Al- 
derson, from Lowell to that town, from the mouth of Pipestem to 


the top of Tallory Mountain, from Lowell across Gwinn's Moun- 
tain towards Red Sulphur, from Indian's Mills to Forest Hill, from 
the mouth of Greenbrier to Wolf Creek, the Little Bluestone Road, 
the bridge across Indian Creek, near its mouth, and at Lick Creek 
at New Richmond, and across Slater's Fork of Lick Creek have all 
been made within recent years. 

A long-fought battle was waged for a new road from the mouth 
of Indian up New River by the places of the Harvey boys, but no 
success has been attained at this time. This road was especially 
fought for for a number of years by Messrs. J. E. Harvey, J. H. 
Harvey and W. L. Harvey, C. A. Baber making a successful fight 
agamst it, and who, about the year 1900, secured the establishment 
of a ferry across New River, about the mouth of Indian over to 
the Crump's Bottom. 

There was before the war a path over Keeney's Knob leading 
from Lick Creek to Alderson, known as the Hog Road, by which 
the hog-drivers from Kentucky took a near cut, went directly across 
the mountain," driving their hogs from Kentucky for the Eastern 
markets. They would drive them from the Kanawha over the 
Sewell Mountain to War Ridge ; over that ridge to the Little 
Meadows ; thence up Lick Creek on over Keeney's Knob to Grif- 
fith's Creek; thence to Alderson's Ferry; thence up Greenbrier 
River and across the Allegheny Mountains to Jackson's River; 
thence down the same to Buchannon and the James River to the 
head of canal navigation. Evidences of this old road remain to 
this day, and I have passed over the same when younger than I 
am now on horseback, although it was nothing but a bridle track, 
but it was much nearer and more practical for that kind of travel 
than the wagon road built across by engineers. 

There was, some three years ago, an iron free bridge built 
across Lick Creek at New Richmond, for the building of which 
and the change of the road from the creek to the depot Mr. M. A. 
Withrow, now deceased, is entitled to much credit for his enter- 

In 1905, the Hinton Toll Bridge Company was incorporated 
and the bridge across New River at Hinton, from Temple Street 
to the mouth of Madam's Creek, was let to contract, which is at 
this time under construction, and will cost about $42,000.00, the 
contract price being $41,000.00. Unusual delays have occurred in 
the construction, the contractor, a man by the name of P. O. 
Shrake, having failed and his bondsmen having to undertake the 
completion of the work in order to save themselves, the bridge 


company being protected by ample bond executed by the con- 
tractor. Messrs. R. F. Dunlap, J. A. Fox and others are the prin- 
cipal promoters, the stock being held largely by the citizens of 
Hinton. These gentlemen deserve credit for their enterprise in 
pushing this matter, as it will be greatly to the benefit of the city 
generally. The bridge, however, when completed, will greatly 
depreciate the value of the two ferries at Hinton, one owned by 
Mr. Joseph Hinton in the town of Avis, and the Lower Hinton 
ferry by H. Ewart and Martin Nee. It is said they will cut the 
rates and still fight for existence. 

The other ferries now having existence in the county are the one 
across Greenbrier, at its mouth, owned by A. E. and C. L. Miller; 
one at Ferrell's Landing, near Greenbrier Springs, owned by E. D. 
Ferrell, and one at Pence's Springs, owned by A. P. Pence; Shank- 
lin's Ferry, the ferry at Crump's Bottom, owned by Buck Smith; 
Pack's Ferry at the mouth of Bluestone, owned by Joseph N. 
Haynes ; Patrick's Ferry, at the mouth of Greenbrier, owned by 
Miller Brothers and George W. Lilly, and Richmond's Ferry, at 
the mouth of Laurel Creek, OAvned by Allen Richmond; also one 
at Meadow Creek across New River. 

The only ferries which are operated by means of wire cables 
are the two Hinton ferries, the one at the mouth of Greenbrier, 
the one at the mouth of Bluestone, of Mr. Haynes' and Mr. Pence's 
at Pence's Springs. There is also a ferry across New River at War- 
ford, which was owned and operated until recently by Mr. James 
W. Cox, a son of Wellington Cox, the first county assessor, and 
which is now owned by recent purchase by Dr. J. A. Fox. J. E. 
Harvey also has a ferry across New River above Crump's Bottom 
at his farm. 

The Chesapeake & Ohio Railway was completed through this 
county in 1872, Avhich runs through the county a distance of about 
thirty-five miles from the point on Greenbrier River, and two miles 
west of Alderson down Greenbrier to New River; thence down 
New River to the Fayette line below Meadow Creek, passing 
through the Big Bend Tunnel, half a mile west of Talcott Station. 
This tunnel is built through the Big Bend Mountain, and is one and 
one-fourth miles in length, and the Little Bend Tunnel is a short 
distance west, only a few hundred feet in length. These are the 
only railroad tunnels in the county. The Big Bend Tunnel was 
completed about the 1st of January, 1872, was constructed by 
William R. Johnson, a Virginia contractor, at an immense cost, 
the amount of which we are unable to secure any information. In 


its construction a number of shafts were drilled from the top, from 
which forces of hands worked each way, coming together in 
accordance with the engineer's plans. These shafts still exist, and 
when trains pass through the tunnel, immense clouds of smoke 
arise therefrom. The tunnel was originally arched with wooden 
timbers, but, becoming decayed, were condemned by the county 
authorities (after the killing of several railroad employees), under 
the direction of Elbert Fowler, the then prosecuting attorney, and 
soon afterwards the arching of the tunnel began with brick, which 
required some ten years in its completion. It is now substantially 
arched with brick. This work was done without interfering with 
the transportation of the road, the work progressing and the trains 
running without interruption, except at times, temporarily, when a 
large amount of debris would be pulled down. The completion of 
this work terminated some ten years ago. As the frequency of 
trains passing through this tunnel increased the density of the 
smoke, and the fumes therefrom became unbearable and destruc- 
tive to human life, the employees would be overcome in passing 
through these dense fumes, and others came near doing so. John 
C. Wise, an excellent citizen of this city, who was a locomotive 
engineer, end in the year 19 — , his engine being stopped for some 
cause in this tunnel, he was overcome, and before assistance reached 
him, death ensued. Public sentiment being aroused, the railroad 
company, by reason thereof, finally undertook the work of putting 
in fans at the east portal, which were, after a year or two, placed 
in complete operation, by which means these dense and deathly 
fumes and smoke were forced out of the tunnel promptly, thus 
making it now a safe highway. 

Mr. M. Smith was the county surveyor for many years, and a 
large proportion of the changes of grades, re-locations and locations 
and new roads were made by him in his official capacity — not being 
a scientific engineer, but a most estimable gentleman. His grading 
was not done in the most scientific and modern manner, hence the 
defectiveness in the grades of many of our roads. 

There have been several accidents on the road from New Rich- 
mond to Green Sulphur. A few years ago John Thomas, a farmer 
from the Big Meadows, was driving his team up that road, accom- 
panied by Miss Sarah McNeer, when, in making one of the short 
turns around a steep precipice, his wagon overturned, and Mr. 
Thomas was instantly killed, his wagon broken up and his horses 
badly injured. 

In hauling for the construction of the Chesapeake (!t Ohio Rail- 


road, a four-horse team and wagon went over this high precipice 
near the Fall Branch. Part of the team was killed, the wagon 
going down into the creek. 

Many years ago, before the formation of the county, and before 
there was a public road from New Richmond up Lick Creek, a 
lady by the name of Cales was leading a horse up the bridle path 
about a half a mile above New Richmond at Fall Branch, where 
there was a very steep and high precipice. The horse slipped or 
lost his footing, went over the cliffs, and was instantly killed. 



The derivations of names of various points, places, objects, etc., is 
a matter of more or less interest, and the manner of their adoption 
is gone and lost sight of before we begin to think of the incidents 
connected with their naming, and now all the mountains, streams, 
springs, valleys and places are named in days gone by, and practi- 
cally all of them have some original interest to the after dwellers 
of the country, but they soon become matters of tradition. Thus, 
"Sewell Mountain" in some of the histories, was named for Sewell, 
or Suel, the first settler, when he and Marlin first settled at the 
mouth of Knapp's Creek, at Marlin's Bottom in Pocahontas County. 
They resided as monarchs of the entire wilderness until thc\- had 
personal differences about religion, when they parted, Sewell going 
into a large, hollow tree, later removing west on to the mountain, 
and near the creek which bears his name to this day, "Sewell Moun- 
tain" and "Sewell Creek," and at which place he was finally slain 
by the Indians, as did Marlin's Bottom take its name from Marlin, 
who settled there with Suel. 

Green Sulphur Springs has no history in its name, except to 
designate it from the other springs in this region. The names of 
places frequently follow the proprietor or occupant; thus, Barger's 
Springs was at one time "Garden's," the owner; tlun "Barger's," 
and now the "Greenbrier," a name given by tlic present ccimpany. 
Keatley's Spring, near Hinton, was so called after Henry Keatley, 
an aged citizen, who lived by it for a number of years. 

Pence's Spring was named for Andrew V. Pence, who ac- 
quired the property in the seventies, and exploited it, bringing it to 
the attention of the general public, and to his enterprise and energy 
is due the honor for its present fame. Tt was once known as Buf- 
falo Spring, as it was a noted lick for buffaloes and deer in the 
early days, as was also the Green Sulphur Spring, at which there 
was a fort. This fort was built by the Indians, and was a kind of 
gtone breastwork built across the bottom in the meadow below 


the spring. The outlines are distinctly visible at this day. Many 
arrow heads and curious shaped stones are still plowed up and 
found in numbers in this bottom. 

Slater's Creek, a branch of Lick Creek, in Green Sulphur Dis- 
trict, was named for a man by the name of Slater, the first settler 
thereon, and who has, with all his descendants, long since disap- 
peared from the earth. Slater is said to have been killed by the 

Patterson's Mountain, between Greenbrier and Summers Coun- 
ties, named after an old family of settlers, who located at its base 
and top ; the "Hump'" Mountain, between Lick and Meadow Creeks, 
on account of its peculiar formation ; the Swell, between Lick and 
Laurel Creeks, likewise; Chestnut Mountain, between Laurel Creek 
and New River and a continuation of Keeney's Knob and Elk 
Knob, by reason of the great amount of chestnut timber on it. 
Keeney's Knob or Mountain, a part of the Allegheny system, after 
Keeney, a first settler, who was killed by the Indians ; Stinson's 
Knob (properly Stevenson's), after the first settler in that region; 
Cale's Mountain, between Wolf Creek, Greenbrier and New River, 
sometimes called "Wolf Creek Mountain," after an old settler by 
the name of James Cales, who lived on its top ; White Oak Moun- 
tain, by reason of the great amount of white oak timber which 
grew on its sides; Tallery Mountain, by reason of the peculiarly 
slick soil when wet, makes it slippery like grease; Gwinn's Moun- 
tain, after Andrew Gwinn, who owned a magnificent plantation 
at its base and on its sides of some 2,000 acres; Taylor's Ridge, 
from Hunghart's Creek to Keeney's Knob, after a man by the name 
of Taylor who first settled in its region. 

The other mountains in Green Sulphur District are Chestnut 
Mountain, between Laurel Creek and Lick Creek ; the Hump ]\Ioun- 
tain, between Lick Creek and Meadow Creek, and the Swell Moun- 
tain. All are high, rough mountains, but are settled over with 
thrifty and enterprising farmers ; the War Ridge Mountain, prin- 
cipally in Fayette County, is on the west side of Meadow Creek. 
We are not prepared to state from what it takes its name, but 
there was evidently a trail across it for the warriors in the ancient 
Indian wars. The Hump Mountain is a peculiar shaped mountain, 
and from its shape took its name. The top is flat and has an area 
of several hundred acres of level land thereon. There are on top 
of this mountain three fine springs of pure crystal water, which 
never go dry. Near one of these springs is what is known as the 
"Stamping Ground." There were three large white oak trees 


standing close together, and the pioneer hunters bored holes in 
the trees and placed salt in the holes so that the cattle and horses 
could always be found without trouble, and deer could be found 
there at any day, as they would gather there for salt. There are 
three seams of coal in this mountain near its top ; one two feet, 
one four feet, and one eight feet, of fine quality. _ ' 

In Jumping Branch District the White Oak and Flat Top Moun- • 
tains are the principal ones, in both of which there is New River 
coal. In the Pipestem District are the Bent Mountain and Tallery 
Mountain. In Talcott the Keeney's Knob extends, and the Green- 
brier River Hills ; Shockiey's Hills and Bent ^Mountain are also in 
Pipestem, as well as Davy's Knob. 

The principal streams oi the county are New River, Greenbrier 
and Bluestone. New River has its source in North Carolina, and 
runs through the entire length of the county, some thirty- five miles 
from the Virginia line to Fayette County line, from south to east, 
and on which is situated the cities of Hinton and Avis at the mouth 
of Greenbrier River. New River is a continuation of the Great 
Kanawha, but is named New River from the mouth of Gauley to 
its source. It was first discovered by explorers in the upper valley, 
and was supposed to be a "new" or undiscovered stream, when in 
fact it was really a continuation of the Kanawha, and has its source 
in the mountains of North Carolina. A number of theories have 
been entertained as to how it received its name. One by Major 
Hotchkiss was that a man by the name of New had a ferry across 
it; but the generally accepted theory is that it was taken by its 
discovery to be a new and unexplored stream at the point first 
reached by its explorers, and that it was a new, and. therefore, 
unknown stream. 

The next stream in size is the Greenbrier, a most beautiful 
piece of pure water, celebrated throughout the land as a fine stream 
for fishermen and sportsmen, the stream now being well stocked 
with black bass, mud and blue catfish. Large numbers of persons 
from the towns and cities come singly and in parties to fish in this 
stream; some camping along its margin, while others stop at 
hotels and farmhouses. The campers use large canvas tents, with 
some one to cook, thus enjoying a novel and pleasant outing. The 
fish are caught with hook and line, trout lines, by wading from the 
bank, and in boats and skififs, using the patent minnows, living 
minnows, worms, bugs and crawfish for bait. The black bass is 
not a native of the stream, having been stocked twenty odd years 
ago by the State and Federal Government, the first supply having 


been placed therein by William A. Ouarrier, then one of the fish 
commissioners of the State, about the 3^ear 1880. The first settle- 
ment at Hinton was by Isaac Ballangee about 1780 on the island 
now owned by C. H. Graham, by reason of the dangers from the 
Indian savages. The Ballangees are of French descent. 

We have information as to the naming of Big and Little Blue- 
stone Rivers, which is that the Big Bluestone flows in its upper 
course over clear bluestone rocks. The Greenbrier River was so 
named by the explorer, General Lewis, by reason of the great 
growth of green briers which he found growing on its banks in 
such masses that he had difficulty in penetrating into the region. 
New River is stated to have been of a late discovery. It is really 
the head waters of the Great Kanawha, but w^hen discovered in the 
Virginia territory was considered a new discovery and called New 
River, because it was supposed to be an entirely unknown stream 
and a new discovery, otherwise it should be Kanawha to its source. 
Pipestem Creek, because of its peculiar windings ; both the Lick 
Creeks, by reason of the great deer and bufifalo licks thereon, and 
the place where the Green Sulphur Springs, and the other where 
the salt works were afterwards located; Mognet Branch near Hin- 
ton, from a man by the name of Mognet; Rowley's Creek, which 
empties into the Greenbrier near the west end of Big Bend Tunnel, 
after the first settler, of whom we have no information ; Meadow 
Creek, because the stream heads in and flows through a section of 
country called the "Little Meadows," because of the flat land 
mostly and great grass-producing country. 

Blue Lick, which flows into the Greenbrier at Greenbrier 
Springs, after a deer lick at its source, known as the "Blue Lick;" 
Indian Creek, because of the Indian highway up its meanders and 
their camping ground at its mouth; Griffith's Creek, after the old 
settler b}' the name of Griffith, who when a boy was stolen by the 
Indians, as recited in these pages, and whose father was killed by 
them ; Lane's Bottom, after General Lane, Avho owned the farm ; 
Madam's Creek, opposite the court house, we have no history of; 
Beech Run, which flows into New River just above, by reason of 
the character of the timber preponderating on its banks ; Flat Rock, 
just below Hinton, by reason of its flat rock bottom ; Brook's 
Branch, Brooks' Post Office and Brooks' Falls of New River, four 
miles west of Hinton, all took their name from the early settler 
who located there in pioneer days ; Richmond's Falls of New River, 
Richmond's Mills, now gone, and New Richmond Post Office, all 
took their name after the celebrated Richmond familv who lo- 


cated there, utilized the water power on the western shore to 
operate a large two-story flour mill, and who was shot to death 
during the late Civil War between the States. 

Jumping Branch, by reason of the numerous falls near its 
mouth and the habit of jumping teams over it before being bridged ; 
Little Wolf Creek, because of the harbor for wolves which 
bred in its region, there being a larger stream in Monroe County, 
which also flows into the Greenbrier some three miles west of 
Alderson, called Big Wolf Creek ; Bradshaw's Run, which empties 
into Indian Creek at Indian Mills, named after the first settler 
thereon by the name of Bradshaw ; Crump's Bottom, by the various 
owners; first, as Culbertson's Bottom, then as Reed's Bottom, 
Reed being an owner; then Crump's Bottom, after the father and 
son who succeeded each other, William, and then William B. 
Crump, and no doubt it will some day be known as "Harmon's 
Bottom" and "Shumate's Bottom," after the owners at this day, 
Harmon owning the upper end, and Shumate estate the lower end. 

True Post Office was named by the late Larkin McDowell 
Meador. He was seeking to secure a post office at the present lo- 
cation, and went to the post office department, presenting his 
petition and the facts, and at the end of his letter said, "Now this is 
true," and thereupon the department established his office and 
named it "True" ; Landcraft's Ferry, across New River, was named 
for Grandison C. Landcraft, an old settler and progressive citizen, 
who acquired the residence where Jos. N. Haynes now lives, and 
the old Pack Ferry, which was then a mile above the present ferry 
and a mile above the mouth of Bluestone. This ferry has had some 
history-making litigation between Jos. N. Haynes and later Thos. 
Meador, known as "Tommy Tight," in which ]\Ir. Haynes was 
victorious and the ferry moved to its present location. Dust Lick 
Fork, a tributary of Little Blu£stone, from a deer lick known as 
Dust Lick. 

Bacon's Mills is located at the Falls of Greenbrier below Tal- 
cott, on the old Jacob Fluke plantation. Jacob Fluke, about 
seventy years ago, in 1835. built a grist mill and carding machine, 
which was patronized for miles around, where the people had their 
wool made into "rolls," and then the women of the house spun 
into "yarn" on the old-fashioned spinning wheels, and then with 
the looms, reeds and shuttles wove into cloth jeans for the men 
and flannels for the women's wear, all of the wearing apparel being 
of home manufacture, and this continued up to the date of the 
building of the C. & O. Railway and the formation of the county, 


which were practically simultaneous. Fluke's Mill burned down, 
and not being able financially to rebuild, Robert Bacon, of Vir- 
ginia, joined him prior to 1861, and they built in co-partnership the 
famous mill known to this day as "Bacon's ]\Iill." Mr. Bacon 
afterwards married Miss Nancy Fluke, who became the only heir 
to all of Jacob Fluke's property. 

The post office at Talcott was first known as Rollinsburg, 
named after Charles K. Rollyson, who owned all the lands around 
and has left as his descendant and our present citizen, C. S. Rolly- 
son, commonly known as "Shan," residing on a part of the old 
homestead on Big Bend Mountain. Rollinsburg was on the op- 
posite side of the Greenbrier River from Talcott, at which place 
resided George W. Chattin, an enterprising farmer, who owned the 
bottoms there and whose descendants still own the same. Among 
his children are Mrs. R. T. Ballangee, Mrs. Giles H. Ballangee and 
John and Oscar Chattin ; and J. W. Jones & Bro., who were mer- 
chandizing under that firm until the building of the railway, when 
they moved across the river to Talcott, as did also the Rollinsburg 
post office, and the name of Rollinsburg became a thing of the past. 

Lowell was named after the two brothers, A. C. and Granville, 
who located there and engaged in the mercantile business and 
built a hotel in the early seventies. 

Talcott Post Office and town were named after Capt. Talcott, 
a civil engineer, who aided in the construction of the C. & O. Rail- 
road, and was the engineer in charge of the construction of the 
Big Bend Tunnel. It was here that Dr. Bray, the eminent English 
surgeon and engineer, resided at the date of his death, having been 
born and educated in England. He emigrated to this country, 
married a Miss Brown, of Mercer County, a sister of Mrs. J. M. 
Garden, and located at Talcott, where he died during the building 
of the Big Bend Tunnel. He was the father of A. B. C. Bray, the 
accomplished telegrapher, and now cashier of the First National 
Bank of Ronceverte. The widow still resides with her daughter, 
Mrs. Frank L. Cox, in Hinton, Mr. Cox being one of the most 
expert train dispatchers and railroad men in the service. Dr. Bray 
left a monument in the magnificent survey and plat of the old 
West land survey in Pipestem District and Mercer County. It is 
an authority, and has been used in many of the land title settle- 
ments, controversies and suits growing out of that immense tract 
of land, and is known among lawy-ers as Bray's survey. Its me- 
chanical appearance can not be excelled, and no price will buy it. 

Hinton took its name from the old familv of that name, and 


especially after Evan Hinton, who promoted the establishment of 
the county. The Hintons did not own or occupy any part of the 
present territory of the city of Hinton, that land being owned by 
the heirs of Isaac Ballangee, of which Mrs. M. N. Breen is one of 
the heirs. 

Avis was named after Mrs. Avis Hinton, wife of "Jack" Hinton. 
the father of Joseph, William, Silas and John, who lived on the 
lands included in the city of Avis at the founding of a town site 
on which Avis is now built. She was born in 1809, and died in 
1901, aged ninety-two years. She was a Miss Gwinn, sister of 
William, Enoch, Moses and Lewis, of Meadow Creek. 

Hallidon was the name of a post office established at the resi- 
dence of Wm. E. Miller on Lick Creek, the mail route being from 
Green Sulphur to Alderson, and carried twice a week, with Wm. 
E. Miller as postmaster. The route crossed Keeney's Knob to the 
foot on the opposite side, where a second office was established, 
called "Clayton," after the Cincinnati balloonist. Halidon was 
named after Halidon Hill in England, where the Battle of Halidon 
Hill was fought, and was named by Miss Mary B. Miller. After 
a few years this route was discontinued as impractical. 

Sandstone Depot, between the mouths of Lick and Laurel Creek, 
was originally New Richmond Depot, same as the post office and 
falls of the river; but when the extension of the railroad was made 
a few years ago, from Huntington to Cincinnati, a station a few 
miles east of Cincinnati was named New Richmond, and the name 
of the old depot on New River changed to Sandstone, as there is 
at that place a sandstone quarry, at one time operated and pro- 
ducing a very fine building stone, and the railway company and 
John A. Richmond, the owners of the surrounding land, being 
antagonistic to each other, by reason of Mr. Richmond's propensity 
for litigating with the company over damages and wrongs, they 
determined not to permit its depot named longer for him. Tlie 
litigation between these two litigants became noted ; the railroad 
track ran through and split open wide his bottoms, and frequently 
killed his stock, and at one time burned his barns, and in those days 
it required a suit to secure redress, and he seldom failed to "give it 
the law without the benefit of clergy." The company having built 
its depot across the line at that place, and not being disposed to 
adjust the matter, he promptly brought an action in ejectmonl. 
Thereupon, it bought his land and paid for it. 

Meadow Creek station was built when the railroad was completed. 
William Gwinn, one of the oldest settlers, owned the land, and 


upon his agreement to give the right of way to the company, it 
agreed to establish a station at that point. He conveyed the right 
of way, and the company built the depot, established its station, 
but locked it up, and for some time provided neither a station nor 
agent, nor did it stop its trains, all of which was, however, later 
adjusted, and a station has been operated at that place for a number 
of years. This illutrates, however, how sometimes injudicious acts 
of injudicious agents bring honorable corporate enterprises into 

Ballangee Post OfBce, on the Red Sulphur road from Talcott, 
was secured through the efforts of Squire R. T. Ballangee, and 
named for him, that being one of the family names of one of the 
oldest and most respectable pioneer families in this region. 

Forest Hill was for many years designated as the "Farms," it 
being a desirable and good farming territory. At one time the 
raising and manufacturing of tobacco in that neighborhood was a 
profitable industry, long since abandone(^. A tobacco factory was 
constructed and operated at that place for many years, the then 
modern presses and machinery being acquired and utilized for the 
manufacture of the chewing tobacco and smoking tobacco, but not 
of cigars, John and William Roberts, Joseph Ellis and James Mann 
and J. Gary Woodson being the owners from time to time, but the 
raising of the weed becoming less profitable, the enterprise was 
finally abandoned, and the property permitted to fall into decay. 
The old tobacco factory at that place is now owned by John Garten, 
who purchased it from the late Jamee Mann, of Alderson. 

Leatherwood Bottom, at the mouth of Leatherwood Branch, on 
New River, where James W. Pack now lives, was so named be- 
cause of the great growth of leatherwood brush there. 

Kesler Springs is named for the discoverer, Bunyan L. Kesler. 

A new post office was established in July, 1880, on Madam's 
Greek, at the residence of William Hinton, with Mr. Hinton as 
postmaster, but after a short while it was abandoned. It was near 
the interesting old landmark of Gharlton's overshot water grist 
mill at the forks of Madam's Creek. 

There are interesting traditions in regard to the discovery and 
naming of New River, the principal river of this section of West 
Virginia. It is claimed by Major Hotchkiss that it was named by 
a man by the name of New, who had a ferry somewhere in the 
upper territory. It is claimed by others that it was, when dis- 
covered, a new river, not shown by any maps, and for that reason 
took the name of New River from its source to its mouth. By others 


it is claimed that the entire river was known as the Kanawha from 
its source to its mouth. It was known as Wood's River without 
any question for some time after its discovery, and is so shown 
on some of the old maps. The Kanawha River was not named, 
however, until 1770. In the Indian tongue it is the "River of the 
Woods," but it had been discovered at the other end and known as 
New River and named after Col. Woods as Woods River many 
years before the Kanawha or River of the Woods was ever dis- 

On some of the old maps New River is shown as New River, or 
Woods River, from its source to its mouth at Point Pleasant, and on 
others it is the Kanawha from its mouth to its source ; later, it was 
called New or Woods River from its source to the mouth of Green- 
brier, and Kanawha thence to its mouth ; still later, and at the pres- 
ent, it is Kanawha from its mouth to the mouth of Gauley, and New 
River from that point up to its source, the name of Woods River 
having become obsolete. To show the claims of French dominion 
over this territory at one time, we mention the fact that in 1846, 
a resident of Point Pleasant, a young man by the name of Beall, 
unearthed a lead plate at Point Pleasant, just 100 years after the 
French had printed it, the French having planted it at the foot of 
a tree, claiming dominion over all of the region west of the Alle- 
gheny Mountains. The duplicate copy of this original plate and 
inscription is preserved among the French national archives. The 
found plate has been lost by the owner being cheated out of it. 

The Guyandotte River was named for a tribe of Indians, as the 
Delawares called it Se-co-nee — Narrow Bottom River. The Tug 
River was named during the Andrew Lewis expedition to the Big 
Sandy in 1756, because his men became so straitened for food they 
ate the thugs from cow hides. 

The Ohio has had all kinds of names. In 1607 it was called 
Dono. In 1708 a Dutch map calls it Cubach. A map of 1710 calls 
it O-O. In 1711 it is called Ochio. In 1719 it is called Sabongungo. 
The Delawares called it Kittono-cepe. The Wyandottes called it 
Oheezuh, the grand or beautiful. In D. Thoyer's History of Eng- 
land, 1744, it is called Hohio, and is made to empty into the Wabash. 
In some of the early Pennsylvania treaties with the Iroquois they 
got to spelling it Oheeo ; in 1744 it went by the name of Ohio, or 
Hohio, In 1749 the French called it O-Yo, or Ohio, not giving it 
a new name, but rendering it into French designations, most of 
which were equivalent to beautiful river. 

The Greenbrier was originally spelled Greenbriar. The Dela- 


wares called it O-ne-pa-ke-cepe, and the Miamis called it We-o-to- 
we-cepe-we. Cepe-we in Indian means river. Gauley River is 
supposed to have been taken from the French Gaul, ey being 
added. The Indian name was Chin-que-ta-na-cepe-we. 

Coal River was on the early maps spelled Cole, and was named 
in 1756 by Samuel Cole, who, with some others, on returning from 
the Lewis Big Sandy expedition, among whom was Andrew Lewis, 
got over onto and followed up this river and cut their names on 
a beech tree near the junction of the Marsh and Clear Forks, which 
remained legible there until in recent years, when it was cut down 
by some vandal in clearing the ground. Since the discovery of 
minerals and coal along this river in quantities, the name is spelled 

John's Knob, in Jumping Branch District, took its name by 
reason of the tragic death of John Acord thereon by freezing to 
death many years ago. He was a stranger passing through the 
country during a cold snap, and was found at the foot of a chestnut 
tree, having given out in the storm and sunk down, to rise no more. 
This occurred in the early part of the eighteenth century. 

Panther Knob in Jumping Branch District was named by a man 
killing a large panther thereon. 

Shockley Hill in Pipestem took its name from the fact that a 
man by the name of Shockley was killed by the Indians in the early 
settlement of the country. 

Barker's Ridge, in Wyoming County, was named for a great 
uncle of M. C. Barker, of this county. He was killed by the Indians 
on this ridge in the earl}^ days on that mountain. 

Tom's Run, in Pipestem District, was so named by reason of a 
man by the name of Thomas being drowned in its waters years ago. 
It is a small stream flowing into New River at the lower end of 
Crump's Bottom. 

Bear Wallow Mountain, in Jumping Branch District, was named 
from a "wallow" thereon. "Bar Wallow" Bob Lilley, got his nick- 
name, from living on one of these mountains. 

Surveyor Branch empties into Bluestone. was named from the 
fact that early surveyors of the county sheltered under the cliffs. 

Jumping Branch is a stream running by Jumping Branch Post 
Office and village on its way to Bluestone. In the days of the 
early settlement there was no bridge across it, and the traveler made 
his crossing by jumping his horse from one bank to another. 

The first ferry established in the county was Pack's Ferry 
across New River by the Packs, opposite the old Landcraft resi- 

Corner Third Avenue and Temple Street. 



riLQEN fUuliOAriOMt, 


dence. It remained there until ten years ago, when, by an order 
of the county court, it was removed down the river near the mouth 
of Big Bluestone by Mr. J. N. Haynes. Out of this removal grew 
a celebrated lawsuit between him and Tommy Meador, known as 
"Tommy Tight," who was a large landowner around where the ferry 
was removed. The removal was by the agreement of Mr. Meador, and 
one landing was on his land. This was opposed by Mr. Haynes, 
and the result was a suit in the chancery court of Meador vs. 
Haynes. Haynes won in the circuit court, and Meador undertook 
to appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeals, but it refused the 
appeal, and thus the title to the whole ferry passed to Mr. Haynes, 
who has now erected a wire cable to aid in operating his boats. 

War Ford, a place of fording New River at the lower end of 
Crump's Bottom, was used in war times. The ford is rough and 
deep and is unused, but in the early days, and when no boats were 
"on the river, the pioneers in war times could cross back and forth. 
This was also a crossing place for the Indians. It is located at the 
lower end of Crump's Bottom. 

Christian Peters built the first State road from Peterstown in 
Monroe County down New River by mouth of Indian Creek, cross- 
ing at the Baptist Church, and by Jumping Branch to Beckley. 
Peterstown and Peters' Mountain are supposed to have been named 
after him by others and according to the history of Peter Wright. 

Robert Lilly, the founder of the great generations of Lillys in 
the counties of Sum.mers, Raleigh and Mercer, lived to be 114 years 
old, and his wife, who was a Moody, lived to be 111 years. On his 
grave has grown a white pine tree three feet in diameter at the 
stump, which was planted there by his granddaughter, the mother 
of (Curly) Joe Lilly, a justice of the peace and commissioner of 
the county court, who has died since this work began. Robert 
Lilly is buried at the mouth of Little Bluestone. This white pine 
is the tallest monument in the county to the oldest couple that ever 
lived in it, and the graveyard where Robert Lilly is buried is the 
oldest in the county. It was begun by the burial of a child therein 
from a train of emigrants passing through the country, and its coffin 
was of chestnut oak bark. Its name is lost to history. Robert Lilly 
first settled on Bluestone on the farm on which (Curly) Joe Lilly 
resided at the date of his death in 1906. 

The Falls of New River are known as Richmond's Falls, after 
Wm. Richmond, and whose son, Samuel, first settled on the Raleigh 
side and built a log water mill for grinding corn and wheat, utilizing 
the water power from the falls. He was killed during the Civil 


War, being shot through the Hver in his canoe on the opposite side 
of the river. After the war, about 1872, the Raleigh side of the 
falls was sold with sixty acres of land, including the water power, 
to W. R. Taylor, of Philadelphia, for $15,000 in gold, the proceeds 
going to the widow and Allen and "Tuck" Richmond, two sons. 
Ex-Governor Samuel Price, of Lewisburg, received a fee of $500 
for passing on the title, which was considered a great fee in those 
times for the service rendered. The other, or Summers side, is 
owned by J. Motley Morehead and associates, who purchased, con- 
templating the establishment of a great electric plant there, but 
the site was abandoned and the plant installed at the Falls of the 
Great Kanawha, by reason of the railroad company being arbitrary 
about rates. The mineral used in operating this plant is brought 
from Asia Minor. At these falls is a fine fishing place. The per- 
pendicular fall is fifteen feet. 

Brooks' Falls, at the mouth of Brooks' Creek, was named after 
the first settler. Brooks. The Summers side is owned by Charles 
R. Fox, and the Raleigh side by the heirs of Avis Hinton. The 
fall is from twelve to fifteen feet and is excellent water power. 

Bull Falls, at the west end of Crump's Bottom, is also good 
water power, and has recently been purchased by Dr. J. A. Fox, 
of Hinton, to be utilized at some future day in the operation of a 
power plant. There is also further up considerable falls at Shank- 
lin's Ferry. There is also fine power at other places along New 

Bull Falls took its name from the fact that a bull was washed 
over the rapids and came out alive lower down the river. There is 
a ford a short distance which was used during the war, and is known 
as "Warford," the name of the post office near there. These names 
were by reason of the shallow places in the river having been uti- 
lized as a ford in war times and by the Indians in their incursions. 

Meadow Creek, which flows into New River twelve miles w^est 
of Hinton, heads in the "Little INIeadows" country, and takes its 
name therefrom. 

Lick Creek, both the one in the lower end of the county in Green 
Sulphur District, as well as the one in the extreme upper end of 
Pipestem District, are named after the great buffalo licks, one at 
Green Sulphur and one at Salt Works, besides many early deer 
licks in the hollows and mountain sides. Boring for salt on each 
creek resulted in a find. One, the Green Sulphur Springs, and the 
other, salt water. 

As all buffaloes disappeared, like the Indians, with the advance- 


ment of civilization, the deer were plentiful, and middle-aged men 
can yet remember watching the deer licks at night behind blinds 
and killing them, but they, too, are now a thing of the past. 

The first name given the great Kanawha River from its mouth 
by the whites was by a French engineering party commanded by 
Captain De Celeron, and it was on the 18th day of August, 1749, 
that he planted the engraved leaden plate at the mouth of the 
river, by which he gave it the name of "Chi-no-da-che-tha," and 
by which action of these French explorers they claimed all of the 
territory drained by its waters from its mouth to its source, which 
included all of the Trans-Allegheny region, and on to North Caro- 
lina, in which State the river, under the name now of New River, 
gets its source. The leaden plate referred to was found just 100 
years afterwards by a little boy, a nephew of John Beale, residing 
in Mason County. This plate was carried by James M. Laidley, 
who was a member of the Legislature of Virginia, to Richmond, 
and submitted to the Virginia Historical Society, where a copy 
was made and the original returned to Mr. Beale, with the result 
above stated. 

The name "Kanawha" was given to the river between 1760 and 
1770, and when this name was given it, it already had a name, as 
herein stated. Kanawha probably took its name from the Conoys, 
a tribe of Indians, as there is great variety in the spelling of the 
name. Wyman's map of the British Empire in 1770 calls it the 
Great Conoway, or Wood River. Kanawha County was formed 
by an act of the Legislature of Virginia in 1789, and therein it 
was spelled "Kenhawa." Daniel Boone spelled it in his survey 
in 1791, "Conhawway." If this river now had its original and 
proper name, it would be "Woods River" from its mouth to its 
source, or "New River" from its mouth to its source. 

The Wolf Creeks, as there are several of that name in this 
region of the country, there being Big Wolf Creek in Monroe, 
emptying into the Greenbrier below Alderson ; Little Wolf Creek, 
emptying into the Greenbrier between Talcott and Wiggins, as 
well as Wolf Creek, which empties into New River in Giles County, 
were named from the many wolves found, trapped and destroyed on 
these creeks. 

Elk River was originally called by the Indians the "River of 
the Fat Elk;" by the Delawares, the "Walnut River." Pocatelico 
was known by the Indians as the "river of the Fat Doe." 



I shall, under this head, give some of the oldest family history 
in a general way. I am unable to give as full and detailed stories 
of the founding and building up of these families as should be 
done, by reason of being unable to ascertain the histories thereof 
sufficiently to give complete accounts. Unfortunately, they have 
been allow^ed to lapse into oblivion, and the larger part of what we 
do obtain is traditional, but is, however, entirely reliable. 

We shall begin with the Graham family, that being a family of 
which we are enabled to give possibly a fuller history than of any 
other family in the county, by reason of the very commendable 
diligence of Mr. David Graham, the oldest member of that historic 
family now living, who has, with great diligence and (abor, at his 
own expense, gone to the trouble of tracing the history of the 
family as far as possible at this late day, from the obscurities into 
which old family histories always fall, unless preserved by some 
members as the generations pass. 

Mr. David Graham, who is now eighty-seven years old, when in 
his 79th year, prepared, as stated, a history of the Graham family, 
a copy of which I have in my possession, and I am under obliga- 
tions to him for his courtesy extended to me in the preparation of 
this narrative for much of the information secured in regard to this 
family and other incidents of tradition. 


I shall not go back into the ancient times before the settlement 
of this family in this country. The family is of Scotch-Irish descent, 
and emigrated to this country from the counties of Donegal and 
Londonderry, North Ireland, having formerly located there from 
Scotland to escape religious persecution, which escape was of short 
duration, and they crossed the ocean to America. 

The name of Graham, years ago, like the name of many other 


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of the old settlers, was sometimes spelled, for short, Grame, and 
sometimes Grimes, but there is no question about the correct name 
being Graham. Names in the earlier days were seldom seen in 
print, and but very seldom in writing, but were handed down orally, 
from one to another, thus giving ample opportunity for mispronun- 
ciation, and, as Mr. Graham says- in his work, "Alany names can 
be recalled, which, in our youth were pronounced differently from 
what they are now, and as an illustration, Stevenson was called 
Stinson." Stinson's Knob, the highest point of Keeney's Mountain, 
is called Stinson's Knob to this day, the correct name being Steven- 
son. The name of Withrow, an old name of the Greenbrier set- 
tlers, was called Withero ; Stodgill was called Sturgeon, and so on. 

The Graham name in all English history and in the history of 
this county, as well as in legal writings pertaining to the family 
from the earliest settlements in America down to the present time, 
is spelled as we now have it — Graham. The Graham family, 
before its emigration across the sea, was a very large and influ- 
ential one, and its official head was James Graham. The first 
emigration of the Grahams to this country of which there is an 
account was from about 1720 to 1730; the exact date is not known. 

Michael Graham settled in Lancaster County, Pa., he being a 
direct descendant of the Earl of Montrose, who was beheaded by 
reason of his loyalty to the king. The descendants of Michael 
Graham afterwards settled in the Valley of Virginia. About the 
same period that Michael Graham came to this country other mem- 
bers of the family came, among whom were John Graham, the great 
grandfather of David Graham, the author of the "History of the 
Graham Family," who also settled in Pennsylvania from Ireland, 
direct Scotch-Irish, and later removed to the Great Calf Pasture 
River, then in Augusta County, Va. Scotch-Irish does not mean a 
commingling of Scotch and Irish blood, but applies to those Scotch 
emigrants who first came to Ireland and then to America. Mr. 
David Graham fixes this date from 1740 to 1745. 

John Graham, the senior, in this country, had a family of four 
sons and five daughters. His oldest son's name was Lanty (Lan- 
celot) ; the other three sons were John, James and Robert. His 
will was probated in Augusta County, Virginia, on the 19th day 
of November, 1771. About the year 1770, James Graham, the son 
of said John Graham, moved to Greenbrier County, and settled in 
what is now this Summers County, just across the river opposite 
where the village of Lowell now stands on the Chesapeake & Ohio 
Railroad. The house in which he lived is the same, together with 


the farm now owned and occupied by Bunyon L. Kesler, which 
is spoken of and described in another part of this book. It is 
immediately at Graham's Ferry on the Greenbrier River at Lowell. 

About the same time that Graham settled on the Greenbrier, 
Samuel Gwinn, and men by the name of Yanbibber, Scee, and Conrad 
Keller settled in the same region. Indian incursions were still 
made into this region after these settlements, but not frequently. 

James Graham was a prominent citizen in the affairs of this 
region; was created a colonel of militia under the laws then exist- 
ing; assisted in the defense of Fort Donally when attacked by the 
Indians in Greenbrier County, and his name is largely connected 
with public affairs during his long life. The Gwinns and Grahams, 
we have no doubt, were all neighbors in the foreign country; 
emigrated across the ocean together, and sought homes in the 
same neighborhood when they advanced into the wilderness west 
of the Alleghenies, each inter-marrying into the other family. John 
was the oldest son of Joseph Graham, and lived nearly all of his 
life at the foot of Keeney's Knob on the Greenbrier side, near 
Clayton Post Office, dying at the advanced age of eighty-four years, 
he having never married until he was sixty odd years of age, when 
he married a Miss Mary Crews, who survived him, and died about 
1902, leaving no children. He was a man of considerable property, 
both real and personal. He devised all of his property to his wife, 
making provision for two bo3^s, William and James A.yres, whom 
he had taken and raised from infancy. John Graham was a man 
of extraordinary common sense, but without any education except 
what he had acquired by his own efforts. He was a master mathe- 
matician, and early took to the avocation of surveying and engi- 
neering. He was one of the finest land surve3'ors in all the 
country, and was noted for having with his own hands constructed 
entirely and completely the first surveyor's compass which he used 
in his work for many years and which was entirely correct. He 
was surveyor of Monroe County and assistant surveyor in Sum^ 
mers, and occupied other positions of trust. He was considered 
a man of honor in his business affairs, leaving an estate valued at 
$20,000.00, which was a large fortune in those days. He wrote his 
own will, making a provision in it for the Methodist and Baptist 
churches, being a member of the former denomination. After his 
death his wife occupied and controlled the property. 

She undertook to follow her husband, and wrote her own will, 
disposing of the property v>'hich she had acquired from her hus- 
band, giving it to her two nephews by marriage, Charles H. Gra- 


ham and David Graham Ballangee. The two boys which she and 
her husband had raised from infancy undertook, after her death, 
being unmindful of the moral and other obligations, as well as the 
gratitude due from them, to substitute another will in the place of 
the one which was determined to be the last and only will. This 
was done by William Ayres, and a legal fight resulted before the 
court in determining which was her last will and testament. After 
some three days' trial, the court properly decided that the will 
which had been written by herself in her own handwriting to be 
the true will. The one which was undertaken to be substituted 
was found under an old clock on the mantel some time after her 
death, and was an attempt to imitate her handwriting, and had 
evidently been slipped under the clock on the day of the sale of 
her personal estate. 

A few years after the death of her husband, John Graham, she 
inter-married with Elijah Meadows, who still lives in the Green 
Sulphur neighborhood. 

His brother, James Graham, also remained a bachelor for many 
years, having, toward the end of his life, married Miss Rebecca 
Vass. He died several years ago, leaving one child, and his widow 
surviving him, married W. W. Walton, and they still reside at 

David Graham still survives, and is now eighty-seven years of 
age. He married a Miss Alderson, a descendant of John Alder- 
son. He now makes his home with his children, and is a man of 
considerable property and of fine intelligence. It is very interest- 
ing to converse with him of matters and affairs of long ago. He 
resided and reared his family at Clayton Post Office, near the foot 
of Keeney's Knob. His sons arc James Allen Graham, L. P. 
Graham, Charles H. Graham, John W. Graham and Joseph Ulysses 
Graham, the latter residing at Charleston, West Virginia, while 
the others each make their homes in this county. 

James A. Graham, son of David Graham, resides in Hinton, 
and is one of the leading citizens of this day in affairs of this 
county, being engaged in the mercantile business at New Rich- 
mond. His son, R. Hunter Graham, has occupied for a number of 
years an important position in the Revenue Department of the 
general government at Washington, D. C, and has recently re- 
signed, and is undertaking the practice of law at Hinton, West 
Virginia, with bright prospects for his success. 

L. P. Graham is the organizer and cashier of the Citizens Bank 
of Hinton, founded in November, 1905. He has been a candidate 


for superintendent of schools, sheriff and mayor of Hinton on the 
Republican ticket. James A. Graham held the important position 
of commissioner of the county court for six years, having been 
elected on the Republican ticket in 1894 by a majority of 300, 
although the county was largely Democratic. He was also elected 
to the office of justice of the peace for Green Sulphur District, 
which position he held for four years. He is a man of fine sense 
and judgment, and the only Republican ever elected in the county 
to the county court. 

Charles H. Graham, now engaged in the lumber business and 
farming, still retains the ownership of the old David Graham home- 
stead at Clayton. He is a man of fine sense and generous impulses. 
He is, possibly, the best educated Graham of his name ; was in 
his 3^ounger days a public schoolteacher for a number of years ; 
justice of the peace of Talcott District at the election held in the 
year 1884, which position he occupied for four years. He was a can- 
didate for sheriff on the ticket with S. W. Willey later, and has been 
notary public for many years. He is a good business man of fine 
attainments, now engaged in the lumber business and farming. 

The Grahams, in politics before the war, were Democrats, and 
were Union men during the Rebellion, not believing in the secession 
of the States or the dismemberment of the government. They have 
done more to create and maintain a Republican party organization 
in Summers County than any other family of people therein, even 
when the party was in a hopeless minority, and when there was no 
prospect of office, either Federal. State, county or municipal, and 
are noted for their political acumen and steadfastness to Republican 
party principles. 

In 1904, while they were accused of party disloyalty in that cam- 
paign, that disloyalty, if it can be called such, and to which we do 
not agree, extended to the support, openly and through the press, 
of the Democratic candidate for the position of judge of the circuit 
court, they claiming as grounds therefor that his opponent was 
not loyal to the Republican party or its principles, but was a "flop- 
per" to that organization for the purpose of disruption and for office, 
and not in good faith. 

John Graham was the ancestor in this country. His children 
were: Lancelot (Lanty), John, James and Robert, Elizabeth, Ann, 
Rebecca and Florence. 

Joseph Graham, the settler at Clayton Post Office, married his 
cousin, Rebecca Graham, a daughter of James Graham, in 1803. 
Joseph was a son of David, Sr., of Bath County, Virginia. David 


Graham, Sr., and James Graham, Sr., who settled at Lowell (Gra- 
ham's Ferry), were brothers, and another of their brothers settled 
at Fort Chiswell, in Wythe County, Virginia. After the marriage 
of Joseph and Rebecca, they lived for a short time in Bath County, 
Virginia, then, after the year 1804, they came to the Lowell settle- 
ment, and lived some time on an island on the present farm of Hon. 
M. M. Warren and T. J. Rifife. Their house was near where said 
Rifife now lives, and in 1813 they moved to the Graham farm at the 
foot of Keeney's Knob, where Clayton Post Ofifice is now situate. 
On the spot where Joseph Graham built his house was a hunter's 
cabin, previously built by a man by the name of Stevenson (Stin- 
son). The cabin had probably not been occupied for years, as the 
survey for the land was made twenty-seven years before and pat- 
ented in the name of James Graham, Sr, (Colonel), and the calls 
included this cabin. 

Joseph and Rebecca Graham raised the following children : 
Florence, born January 13, 1805; Lanty (Lancelot), born December 
8, 1806; John, born February 23, 1807; Jane, born April 6. 181—; 
James, born March 31, 1813; Elizabeth, born July 19, 181.S; Ann, 
born October 16, 1818; David, born January 1, 1821; and Rebecca, 
born December 13, 1823. 

Florence, the oldest daughter of Joseph Graham, married John 
Nowlan, a native of Carrick, Kilkenny, Ireland, in 1835, and settled 
two miles from her father, where they lived until his death in 1875. 
They raised four children. Rebecca, the only daughter, married 
George W. Hedrick, a son of George W. Hedrick, a brother of 
Moses Hedrick. She died in 1863, and her descendants still live on 
the land, one of the daughters having married a worthless fellow 
by the name of W. D. Sherwood. Patrick, the other child, died in 
1884, aged twenty-three. 

Joseph, the oldest son of John and P'lorence Nowlan, married 
Miss Mary Keeney, of Kanawha County, in 1865, and now lives on 
a farm near Pence Springs on Greenbrier River, once owned by his 
uncle, Samuel Graham. He has been a prominent farmer in the 
county. His son, John C, has been a justice: another son is an 
attorney and telegraph operator ; Elmer, now living at Alderson ; 
Rebecca, Florence, who married Rev. C. T. Kintner; Stars, J., is a 
merchant, and Wm. C, lately died at Talcott, having married a 
Miss Huston, a daughter of the veteran station agent. E. P. Huston. 
He was a practicing physician. The other children, Lawrence. 
George, Anna and Homer, live with their father. K. P. Nolan, is 


an operator and station agent on the C. &• O. Railway ; John died 

Patrick, the third son of John Nowlan, was drowned at Hayne's 
Ferry on January 8, 1877, at the exact place where his great uncle, 
Samuel Graham, was drowned sixty years before. 

Florence Nowlan died January 21, 1869, and John Nowlan, the 
original ancestor, died November 4, 1876, having been born January 
24, 1793. 

Joseph Nowlan is one of the prominent Republicans of the 
county; was the nominee for sheriff, and also the nominee of his 
party for commissioner of the county court of the county. 

The land on which he lives was purchased from the heirs of 
James Madison Haynes. At one time it belonged to Samuel Gra- 
ham, and passed to the Haynes ancestor. Mr. Nowlan has erected 
on the farm a good brick residence. Since writing the above he 
has sold this plantation to a Mr. Tolly, of Raleigh County, for 
$8,000.00. He married the only daughter of Thomas Meadows of 
that county, a very wealthy farmer. The lands of Hon. Wm. 
Haynes and the Tolley farm were at one time owned by Samuel 
Graham ; after he was drowned accidentally at Haynes' Ferry, it 
passed into the ownership of James Madison Haynes, and consisted 
of some 400 acres. 

Lanty Graham, the oldest son of Joseph and Rebecca Graham, 
married Sabina Ellis, daughter of James Ellis, in 1833, and settled 
on Greenbrier River, on what is now Riffe's Bottoms, owned by 
M. M. Warren, Thos. J. Rifife and Mrs. Jennie Boggess. In 1836 
he settled at the foot of Keeney's Knob on land devised to him by 
his father, where he died in 1880. 

Joseph Allen, the second son of Lanty, lives at his father's old 
homestead. He married Susan DuBois in 1859, and had five chil- 
dren: Susan, the wife of J. L. Meadows; Martha J., wife of M. V. 
Wheeler; David U., Allen B. and George W., who live in Fayette 
County. Rebecca J., the oldest daughter of Lanty, married Andrew 
J. Honaker, May 18, 1865, and had four sons, Calvin L., Oscar T., 
Marion and Charles W. 

Jehu Shannon, the third son, married Frances Alderson. Lanty 
Graham had a son, Lanty Jackson, who was a Confederate soldier, 
and who died at Jackson, Miss., in 1863. Another son was Thomas 
C, who married Malinda Bryant in 1871, and whose two daughters, 
Laura, married James H. Harriss, and Jennie, who married 
Hugh P. Miller. 






• . t k 1 


John, the second son of Joseph Graham, when he was sixty- 
years old, married Mary J. Crews. 

Jane, the second daughter of Joseph Graham, died unmarried. 
She died a violent death some time prior to the war. It was never 
known whether she died by her own hand or whether she was 
killed. She was missing for some time, and a vigilant search was 
instituted, and the whole neighborhood was enlisted in the search. 
Her body was finally recovered, and showed evidences of a violent 
death. It was in a wild and unfrequented place; and whether she 
had gone there and died by her own hand was never known. Sus- 
picion fastened on her kinsman and brother, James Graham, who 
was arrested and placed in jail. Finally the case was removed to 
Giles County for trial, a change of venue being had from Monroe 
County, where the public feeling was strong against him. He was 
defended by the late Senator Allen T. Caperton and other distin- 
guished attorneys. The trial resulted in his acquittal of any crime, 
and the matter was not prosecuted further. This was a noted case 
in its day. This son, James Graham, was the third son of Joseph 
Graham, and lived to an old age before marrying, in 1877. He 
married Rebecca A. Vass, a daughter of Curtis Vass, and she still 
survives. He spent several years in the West, in Ohio and In- 
diana, Illinois, Missouri and Kentucky. He returned at the close 
of the Civil War, and remained in this country until his death in 
1889, residing about one mile from the old Joseph Graham home- 

Elizabeth, the third daughter of Joseph Graham, married Archi- 
bald Ballangee and settled on a portion of her father's land. She 
died on the 12th of January, 1857, leaving four children. Archibald 
Ballangee was born November 13, 1819, and died March 4, 1894. 
His children were Cynthia Jane, who married J. H. Bowden ; 
Martha Florence, the wife of J. H. Harrah ; Mary Hicks, wife of 
Marion Hicks, and one son, Herndon Ballangee. 

Ann Graham, the fourth daughter of James Graham, died in 
1837, aged nineteen, unmarried. 

Rebecca, the youngest daughter of Joseph Graham, married 
John R. Ballangee, a son of George Ballangee, of the mouth of 
Greenbrier River, and who was a son of Isaac, the settler, who 
located there in 1780, when George was one year old. The Bal- 
langees came from North Carolina, and are of French descent. 
He owned one-half of the George Ballangee farm by devise, and 
out of which grew extensive litigation between his heirs and their 
uncle, Evi Ballangee, and Aunt Katie, neither of whom married, 


and at their death their estate descended to their next of kin, some 
fifty in number, scattered throughout the land. This Htigation is 
of record in the office of the Circuit Court of Summers County, 
and consists of three suits in chancery. 

John R. and wife later removed onto the land which she inher- 
ited from her father, Joseph Graham, at the immediate foot of 
Keeney's Knob, on the east side, where he died in 1852, leaving 
three children, David Graham Ballangee, the oldest, who married 
Delphia Flint, a daughter of Jerry D. Flint. He now resides at 
the old Joseph Graham home, is its owner and is the postmaster at 
that place, and is given more extended notice elsewhere. 

Rebecca J., youngest daughter of John R. Ballangee, married 
Robert Carter, whose children are Otey C. Carter, Alice, George 
and Walter. 

Joseph Graham, the ancestor, died December , 1857, aged 

ninety-one years. He was a large land owner, having accumulated 
2,000 acres in a compact body, and owned a number of slaves. The 
whole of this land was devised to his descendants. The father of 
Rebecca was Colonel James Graham, of the Lowell settlement, 
and this land of 330 acres at Clayton was patented by her father in 
1786 and by him given to his daughter, and has been in the family 
for 121 years. Joseph Graham's father was a son of David Graham, 
Sr., who lived in Bath, Virginia, and a son of John, Sr. Over the 
will and lands of Joseph Graham litigation grew among his chil- 
dren in the Circuit Court of Monroe County, and which was car- 
ried to the Supreme Court of West Virginia. 

Florence Graham, the daughter of John Graham, the senior 
and founder of the family originally, to whicli direct descent is 
traced, married her cousin, Colonel James Graham, who settled at 
Lowell in 1774, and a fort was erected where the Lowell Hotel now 
stands, known as Graham's Fort : and when he built the house at 
Lowell, which was 24 x 30 feet, he made it peculiarly strong to 
protect himself and family against the Indians. The sills are of 
walnut and in a good state of preservation to this day. There are 
two large stone chimneys. The fireplace is six feet wide, with a 
wooden arch five feet high. All nails are w^rought, made at the 
blacksmith shop, and all lumber sawed with a "whip-saw" by hand. 
The stone was transported for the chimneys from a mile up the 
river in a canoe. It was a fine house for those days. 

John Graham, the oldest son of Colonel Graham, was killed by 
the Indians at the attack on Fort Donnally. AVilliam Graham mar- 
ried Catherine Johnson in 1809, and settled on the Rifife place on 


Greenbrier River, of 400 acres, which was patented to WilHam 
Graham in 1785. He was appointed a major of the Sixty-sixth Regi- 
ment of Virginia by the first county court held at the organization 
of Monroe County, and was elected in 1809 a representative to the 
General Assembly of Virginia. He was a justice of the peace of 
that county, and held the ofifice for thirty-seven years, or until his 
death. He had three children, James, born in 1810, who married 
Patsy Gwinn, daugher of Joseph Gwinn ; William, Jr., married 
Rebecca, daughter of Lanty Kincaide. 

David, the third son, married Mary Stodgill in 1795, and settled 
at the mouth of Hungart's Creek on what was later known as the 
Woodson farm, and the hewed log house built by him still stands 
there. He was a surveyor, and was a lieutenant in a company of 
the Sixty-sixth Militia Regiment. 

Jane, the second daughter of Colonel James Graham, married 
David Jarrett, and settled on the May's farm near Buffalo Lick 
(Pence Springs). 

Plorence, the second daughter of Colonel James Graham, mar- 
ried Jarrett See. 

James Graham, the fourth son, married Lea Jarrett in 1800, a 
sister of James Jarrett, Sr., and also located on the Rifife Bottoms, 
at the upper end. His son, Samuel, married Sallie Jarrett, a daugh- 
ter of David Jarrett, the father of David Jarrett who married Jane 
Graham. He settled on the James Nowlan or Tolley farm, which 
was patented by Colonel James Graham, Sr., in 1785, and his daugh- 
ter, Susan, married Andrew Jarrett, a brother of the late James and 
Joseph Jarrett, of Greenbrier. Samuel Graham undertook to ford 
at Haynes" Ford when the river was flush in March, 1819. near his 
home, and was drowned. The farm of 400 acres where Samuel 
Graham lived descended to his son-in-law, Andrew Jarrett, and was 
by him sold to Madison Haynes in 1840, and later a portion pur- 
chased by Nowlan. 

Lanty, another son, married Elizabeth Stodgill, atid Rebecca, 
the other daughter, as above stated, married Joseph Graham. 

Colonel James Graham was evidently born in Donegal. Ireland, 
as was his father, a brother of John Graham, Sr., who settled on the 
Greenbrier River; whether he came to America is not known. He 
was uncle of said Colonel James Graham and of David, who set- 
tled in Bath. 

There have been several surveyors in the family, a number of 
wliom were experts, and many of them have held honorable posi- 


lions. They are noted for their intelligence and sagacity in busi- 
ness and other affairs. 

R. Hunter Graham, a son of James Allen Graham, a yo^nig 
lawyer, educated at the common schools and graduated in law at 
Columbia University of Washington, D. C., is now engaged in the 
practice of law in Hinton. 


This is the youngest son of David Graham, who is the oldest 
member of that family now living, and one of the old residents of 
this section of the country. John W. Graham was born at Clayton 
July 9, 1860. He was married on the 24th of August, 1892, to Aliss 
Frankie Lowry, a daughter of J. W. Lowry, one of the pioneer 
settlers of Fayette County. He was raised on the farm, where he 
spent his early life, first engaging in other business at New Rich- 
mond, where he established a plant for the manufacture of timber 
products, which he disposed of in 1893, and removed to Central 
City, where he resided until early in 1899, at which time he became 
proprietor of the old Republican newspaper plant at Hinton, and 
founded the present "Hinton Leader," which he has edited and 
published since that day until the present. It is an up-to-date, 
enterprising country newspaper with a large circulation, and is 
prospering, Mr. Graham being a Republican in his politics. He 
established the "Daily News," the first daily newspaper ever printed 
in Summers County, May 5, 1902, and continues the same unto this 
day. He publishes the same in connection with his "Leader," oper- 
ating only one plant. The first issue was on May 5, 1902. It is a 
four-page, five-column paper, and is the pioneer paper of that char- 
acter in this section. It is independent in its political views. 

John W. Graham is a Republican in politics, and has taken a 
decided stand in political matters, and was one of the leaders in 
the political troubles which beset the party from 1902 to 1906, of 
that branch of the party known as the "Old-timers," he declining, 
with many other of the leading and influential Republicans, to 
support the entire ticket nominated by his party in 1904. He has 
been, also, as well as his paper with its influence, a violent opponent 
to the present State administration, headed by Governor Dawson, 
being a follower of the Teter wing; nor has he been kindly 
disposed toward the new and existing tax laws being put in force 
in the last three or four years, but he is an ardent Republican, and 
believes in the doctrines of that party, as are all of his family in 
this county. 



Dr. Fox is a native of Meigs County, Ohio, but was reared in 
Jackson County, West Virginia. He is of direct German descent, 
his father being a German, and the original Dutch spelling of the 
name was Fuchs. Dr. Fox emigrated to Summers County about 
fifteen years ago, and engaged in the occupation of barber, by 
which means he procured the funds to attend the Concord Normal 
School, and later a medical college, the University of Maryland, 
graduating from the University of Nashville College of Medicine 
in 1903. After his graduation he stood a successful examination 
before the medical examiners of West Virginia, located at Hinton, 
and entered into active practice in July, 1902. He has worked 
himself up from the ground floor, starting without means, money or 
prestige, and is now one of the men of financial means in Summers 
County, owning large interests in real estate. His brothers, Ed., 
Jake and William, also located in Hinton and followed the barber 
business for some time, Jake now being engaged in the butcher 
business, and Ed. and William still operatfng the barber shop. 
Dr. Fox is interested in a number of the leading enterprises of this 
section, h i\ing been the promoter of the Hinton Toll Bridge Com- 
pany and one of its largest stockholders. He supervised its con- 
struction, securing franchises, rights of way, etc. He is also 
interested in the laundry business and other successful enterprises. 
He was born on the 4th day of January, 1875, and married Miss 
A. M. Rush in May, 1897. Dr. Fox also is a graduate in pharmacy 
in the University of the South. His father's name, in German, is 
Adams Fuchs; his mother's maiden name was Catherine Wink, 
and she is also a native German. They emigrated from Germany 
to America soon after their marriage, thirty-eight years ago, and 
first located in Meigs County, and then across the Ohio River into 
Jackson County, West Virginia, where they now reside. 


There is but one family of this name, although there are others 
who spell their name Bryant. J. Fred Briant was born in Morris 
County, New Jersey, and descends from one of the old ancestral 
families of the State of New Jersey. The family is able to trace 
its lineage to Elias Briant, who settled in that State at Springfield, 
a short distance from Elizabeth Port, which was then one of the 
chief seaports of that country, in 1690. The grandfather of the 


subject of this sketch was named Elias, who had four brothers, the 
five brothers being soldiers in tlie American Army during the eight- 
year war of the Revokition for American independence. These 
five were the grandfather and four grand uncles, and, strange to 
say, each of these four brothers of the grandfather spelled their 
name Bryant,- although the original records of the original settler 
and other documentary evidence show the spelling of the name to 
be Briant, and there is in the possession of Elias Briant, the brother 
of J. Fred, a stamp made in 1750 of metal for stamping his name 
on his work tools, the stamp spelling the name with an "i" — Briant. 
The original owner of this stamp was a blacksmith, anrl Elias 
seems to have been an original family name descended from gen- 
eration to generation. Elias Briant, the father of J.-h>ed E>riant, 
was born in 1799. After the Revolution the brothers scattered, 
settling in different sections of the country, and passing westward, 
emigrated in that direction, one coming to Virginia, another to 
Ohio, and the descendants are scattered promiscuously throughout 
the country. Periodicallv these descendants meet and hold a re- 
union of the Briant ("Ian. 

J. Fred Briant came to Summers County in August, 1886, lo- 
cating at Eittle Bend Tunnel as a telegraph operator, and afterward 
depot agent at Talcott, and was finally promoted to train dispatcher 
at Hinton in 1899, which position he occupies at this time, being 
associated in that office with the Irish citizen, M. A. Boland. who is 
chief dispatcher, and who worked himself u]:) from the bottom. 
His father, commonly known as Billy Boland. located at New Rich- 
mond soon after the building of the railwav, Avhere Mike was born. 
He learned telegraphy, and has been with the C. & O. Railway 
Company since, working up from one station to another. His 
father was accidentally killed at the crossing in Avis several years 
ago. He was an Irishman from Ireland and an honest citizen. He 
was track-walker for many years for that road. M. A., in addition 
to his railway engagements, is a director in the Citizen's Bank 
and one of the busniess men of the city. 

In 1895, Mr. Briant was appointed justice of the peace for Tal- 
cott District, to fill a vacancy caused by the resignation of Squire 
James P. Staton, now located at Glenn Jean in Fayette County, 
where he has been a justice for the last twelve years. In 1896, 
Mr. Briant was elected to the office of justice of the peace of Tal- 
cott District, which position he filled intelligently and honorably to 
himself and constittients for four years. In 1900 he was the nomi- 
nee of the Democratic party of the county for representative to the 


House of Delegates, and was elected, and held that position for a 
full term, declining further office. He is an intelligent gentleman, 
a fluent speaker, well posted on public afifairs of the day and times. 
When a boy he lost his left hand in attempting to board a train in 
Philadelphia. In 1887 he was united in marriage to Miss E. A. 
Wyant, a daughter of Peter B. Wyant, of Talcott District, and she 
is a descendant of that ancient and honoral)le family of German 
descent. They have three children, James R., Leah and Arminta. 


One of the ancient families of the New River settlements was 
that of Jordan, a Southwest Virginia family. 

Thomas Jordan was a native of England and an English soldier 
who came to America with Burgoyne's army in the War of the 
Revolution and fought therein for the cause of King Georee until 
the capture of that army by General Gage at the Battle of Saratoga. 
After the capture, he was sent by the .Americans as a prisoner of 
war. along with the other captives, to the fastnesses of X'irginia 
until exchanged. During his captivity he became acquainted with 
Lucy O'Neal, an Irish girl, to whom he was married, and settled at 
the junction of the Cow Pasture and Jackson's River, and there 
lived and raised a large family. One of his sons was Hugh Jordan, 
who married Sallie Chapman, a daughter of Isaac Chapman, one 
of the most ancient settlers in the Middle New River \'allcy. They 
settled at Providence, in Giles County. Hugh Jordan was a great 
hunter, and during the hunting seasons annually came to the wil- 
derness of the Bluestone around about Clover Bottoms, where he 
had a hunting lodge, and it was at that place that Gordon L. Jordan 
was born, but he raised his family in Giles County. In those days 
wolves and other ferocious animals were plentiful in all the region 
round about where Jordan lived at Clo\'er Bottom, and the wife 
of Hugh Jordan spent many nights sleeping under the rafters in 
the loft of the cabin, to keep out of the way of the wolves which 
were howding around for admittance. Hugh Jordan returned to 
Providence, and there were sixteen children born to them — four 
boys and twelve girls. The boys were Gordon L.. Thomas, A\'ilHam 
W. and Oscar. Gordan L. Jordan married Elizabeth G. Toney, of 
Giles Count}', a daughter of Captain Jonathan Toney. and was 
raised where the old brick house of the Toneys still stands at Glenn 
Lynn, on the Norfolk & Western Railway, near the mouth of East 
River, in Giles Countv. Gordon L. lordan was born on the 18th 


day of July, 1812, and died on the 18th day of June, 1886. He was 
by profession a contractor in stone, brick and plaster work. In 1849 
he removed to Pipestem, then Mercer County. There were ten 
children ; two sons. One died in his youth ; the other, our present 
county man, John H. Jordan. Miss Mary died in 1886, never having 
married. Clara Frances married M. D. Tompkins, of Hanover 
County, Virginia, and was one of the first settlers of Hinton, where 
he located at the beginning of the building of the town and engaged 
in the mercantile business, and in which business he is still engaged 
to this date, and is now constructing the three-story brick business 
building at the railway crossing in Upper Hinton, through Eli W. 
Taylor, the architect, being the contractor. Miss Lizzie, his daugh- 
ter, is one of the teachers in the Hinton High School, one son, Ed., 
is engaged with the First National Bank of Huntington. Other 
sons are attending school at Marshall College and Bethany College. 
Emma L. Jordan married James L. Barker, a son of Calloway 
Barker, who died on the Barker's Bottom at their home several 
years ago, in 1882, leaving one daughter, Lula, who married D. R. 
Barton, and now resides near Pack's Ferry. Lizzie Jordan married 
Clifton Lane, a son of Charles Lane, of Pipestem District, and a 
prosperous farmer at Pipestem. Nannie married W. B. Gautier, 
of Athens, and died in 1889, leaving one son, Claude V. Gautier, now 
a medical student at the West Virginia University. The other 
children of G. L. Jordan died from diphtheria while young. Gordon 
L. Jordan, upon his removal to Pipestem, engaged in the mercan- 
tile business up until the beginning of the Civil War. Prior to that 
time he had been a justice of the peace and a member of the County 
Court of Mercer County. He was a sincere and loyal Southern 
man; loyal also to the Union, and violently opposed to secession 
of the States, and never gave in his adherence to the Southern 
cause until the firing on Fort Sumter. The feeling against Mr. 
Jordan in the early part of the war by Pinion sympathizers and 
bushwhackers was so vigorous that he emigrated in 1862 to Giles 
County, where he remained for one year, and then returned home, 
remainine there until the termination of the war. Soon after his 
settlement at Pipestem he constructed a large, two-story frame 
residence, which was the first frame residence ever built in Pipe- 
stem District. He and his brother also, about the sam'e time, built 
and donated to the Methodist Church a frame house of worship, 
which is known to-day as Jordan's Chapel. The framing and tim- 
bers in these buildings were hewn from trees, the old-fashioned 


nails being used in their construction, and the plank all sawed with 
the whip or pit-saw. 

After the war Gordon L. Jordan followed farming until his 
death, and that farm remained in the hands of his children until 
1902, when the same was sold to Kelsoe & Dickey, of Pennsylvania. 
Mr. Jordan was one of the first_justices of the peace in the county 
after its formation, and held the office for four years by election. 
At the first election held within Summers County after its creation 
he was elected as a delegate to the House of Delegates, and repre- 
sented the county as its first representative in that legislative body 
after its formation. He was an active man in the organization of 
the new county. He was unable to hold any office after the war 
until after the abolition of the infamous test oath. In politics he 
was a Democrat, and a Methodist in his religious beliefs, and one 
of the principal supporters of that denomination in that section, it 
being headquarters for all the Methodist ministers round about. 
The Jordan's Chapel was constructed in 1852. He was a man of 
fearless character and bravery. When a boy of fifteen, he, with 
William Mahood, descended into a cave in Giles County sixty feet, 
and killed a wolf. The wolf had fallen down through a sink hole, 
or opening in the surface, having been caught in a steel trap. They 
cut Indian ladders and descended from one bench to another. He 
held the light while Mahood slew the wolf. 

One of the first licenses to keep a house of public entertainment 
ever granted in the county was to Mr. Jordan. His residence was 
the half-way point between Union and Raleigh Court House and 
Princeton, and was the stopping-place for persons going from points 
west to the latter town. The celebrated and pioneer lawyers, Gen. 
Chapman, who was a first cousin to Mr. Jordan ; Senator Allen T. 
Caperton, who was a first cousin to Mrs. Jordan ; Frank Hereford, 
John E. Kenna, James W. Davis, Judge Gillespie, Judge Harrison. 
Judge Ward, Major McGinnis, Gov. Samuel IVice. and many other 
celebrated men made their headquarters there in passing through 

this region. His wife died on the day of April. 1^01. at 

the residence of J. H. Jordan in Hinton, where she lived the last five 
years of her life. She was born in 1822. Thomas Jordan, the other 
brother, who emigrated to Pipcstem, entered into the mercantile 
business with his brother. Gordon, where he ii>nly remained two or 
three years. While in that country, he and the brothers purchased 
title to several hundred acres of timber land, wliich became valuable 
in recent years, and was disposed of to Pennsylvania capitalists. 
He afterwards settled in Tennessee. All of the Jordans in Ametica. 


SO far as known, are descended from this British soldier. One of 
his descendants settled in Indiana, and they are scattered over Ohio 
and many other parts of the country. The Jordan brothers first 
sold goods up until the war at the old James Ellison place at 

John Hugh Jordan is the only member of that family of Jordans 
now living in Summers County, and is the only son of Gordon L. 
Jordan, who grew to maturity. He was educated in the free schools, 
and graduated with honor at the Normal School at Athens, and then 
took a post-graduate course at the National Normal University at 
Lebanon, Ohio, taught school in this county and in Raleigh, and 
was a teacher in the Hinton public schools at the time they were 
transformed into a high school, he being the first principal, and it 
was he who graded the Hinton schools. He was appointed a clerk 
in 1889 in the office of the State Auditor, Patrick F. DufTy, which 
position he held for four years. Upon the election of Governor 
McCorkle, in 1892, he was appointed Assistant Labor Commissioner, 
which position he held two years, and then resigned, returning to 
Hinton and organizing the Bank of Summers in 1895, which was 
afterwards converted into the present National Bank of Summers. 
He was elected its first cashier, which position he holds to this day. 
He is connected with a number of the other principal local business 
enterprises, among them being the New River Grocery Company, 
of which he is treasurer, a director and a stockholder, and of which 
he was the principal promoter. He is a stockholder and director in 
the Hinton Water, Light & Supply Company ; a stockholder of 
the Greenbrier Springs Company, at which place he has a neat 
cottage, where his family spends part of the summer. He is a 
stockholder and director in the Hinton Foundry & Machine Com- 
pany ; a stockholder in the Bank of Wyoming and the Bank of 
Athens ; also a stockholder and officer in the New River Milling 
Company and other corporations. Mr. Jordan was born on the 
11th day of May, 1857. 

He married Miss Lilly Brightwell, a daughter of Charles Bright- 
well, of Prince Edward County, Virginia, by which marriage there 
are three children, Julian J., who is a student at the Virginia Mili- 
tary Institute; William AV., who is a clerk in the National Bank 
of Summers, and ]\Iiss Lilly, who is a student at the Hinton High 
School. His first wife died in 1893, and in 1899 he was married 
the second time to Miss Hattie W. Brightwell, of Roanoke. Vir- 
ginia, a sister of Captain W. J. Brightwell, of Hinton, and of 
Walter Brightwell, lately deceased, at Talcott. By this marriage 


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there are four children, Hugh C, Mary E., John Gordon and Nellie 

Mr. Jordan has not been a candidate for office in Summers 
County except in one instance, when he was the nominee of his 
party for superintendent of schools, but by reason of the factional 
trouble then existing, growing out of the death of the late Hon. 
Elbert Fowler, and the trial of J. Speed Thompson for his killing, 
in which he was a witness, he was defeated by a small majority by 
Jonathan F. Lilly, of Jumping Branch. He has occupied the office 
of city councilman ; is a man of strong character, loyal to his friends, 
and is a man of excellent business judgment, enterprising, pushing 
and energetic. In 1906 he erected in Hinton, on the court house 
square, a handsome brick residence, which he now occupies. He 
was one of the promoters and organizers of the Bank of Raleigh, 
the Bank of Wyoming, the Logan National Bank and the Bank 
of Athens. 

Hugh Jordan, the grandfather of John H. Jordan, was a soldier 
of the War of 1812, and fought at the Battle of New Orleans under 
General Andrew Jackson. Thomas Jordan, the ancestor of this 
family in this country, was one of the most powerful men physically 
in all the British Army, and his physical prowess was a matter of 
notoriety throughout the same. He was a resident and a property 
owner on land afterward covered by the city of London, and it 
was claimed for generations that he had an estate in those prop- 
erties by inheritance, but it was abandoned by him, he failing to 
make any elTort to secure the same or to return to that country for 
that purpose. 

Gordon L. Jordan, while a refugee at Pearisburg in 1862, was 
captured by the Federal soldiers, being the Twenty-second Ohio 
Regiment, under General Rutherford B. Hayes, then a lieutenant 
colonel, and of which command William McKinley, also afterwards 
President of the United States, was a sergeant. His army passed 
down New River through Summers County, crossing at Pack's 
Ferry and following the old turnpike road to Raleigh Court House, 
where it encamped for some time. Major A'IcKinley occupying the 
residence of Mr. Davis, the father of the present sheriff of that 
county, John R. Davis ; Mrs. Davis still resides in the same build- 
ing, and is a very aged lady ; but the Union armies were not able 
to secure their capture of Mr. Jordan, and they being attacked in 
the neighborhood of Pearisburg by Colonel, afterwards General, 
John McCausland, of Mason County, who drove the Federals out, 
recaptured Mr. Jordan, who was set at liberty, and afterward re- 


turned to his home in Pipestem. Mr. Jordan, at the time of his 
capture, was driving a team of horses on the streets of Pearisburg. 
His wife and son, John, were with him, the latter remembering 
very distinctly the incidents connected with the capture and release. 
J. H. Jordan also remembers very distinctly of witnessing the 
Battle of Pearisburg, seeing and firing the cannons, etc., which 
was a very exciting occasion to a youth of his years, he then being 
five years of age. 

John H. Jordan is a Knight Templar in Masonry; an Odd Fel- 
low; a member of the Order of Red Men and the Knights of the 
Golden Eagle ; the Ancient Order of United Workmen ; also of the 
Modern Woodmen of America. 

The great grandmother of John H. Jordan, Mrs. Tompkies, an- 
other of the children of G. L. Jordan, was a daughter of Mitchell 
Clay, the first settler at Clover Bottom, and a sister of Tabitha 
Clay, who was killed by the Indians, an account of which is given 
elsewhere. Squire William Hughes, of Pipestem, married Louise 
Jordan, a sister of Gordon P. Jordan. 


The old Jordan Chapel has been witness to many celebrated 
revival meetings by various ministers, the most celebrated of which 
was by Robert Sawyers Shefifey, a pioneer Methodist preacher, who 
was celebrated throughout all that region and Southwest Virginia. 
He w^as an eccentric itinerant, and one of the most remarkable 
characters that has ever lived in the New River Valley. During 
the life of Gordon L. Jordan he regularly visited him about once 
a year, and frequently held meetings at the old chapel. He was 
born on July 4, 1820, and died in Giles County in 1902. He was a 
native of AVythe County. He came into the- New River Valley in 
1859, and married a Miss Stafiford. He was a pious, devout. Chris- 
tian and godly man. and was a man of wonderful faith in God and 
most eloquent in public prayer. The mosl; remarkable thing about 
this eccentric man was that his prayers for special things w-ere not 
in vain, for what he asked the Lord for he always seemed to receive. 
So often were his prayers answered and his highest hopes and 
aspirations gratified, that people wdio knew him well and were 
disposed to do evil things, were frequently alarmed for fear he 
would call down upon them vengeance from heaven, and they be- 
lieved that if he asked the Lord to smite them with pestilence or 
death, it would be done. Doubts of his sanity were expressed. 


These expressions, after being conveyed to Mr. Sheffey, he would 
often pubHcly repeat, and comment thereon by saying, "Would to 
the Lord that they were crazy on the same subject that I am." 

Many are the interesting stories told of this preacher and his 
conduct, one or two of which we will give, as he was known to a 
large number of people throughout the upper region of the county, 
and I take them by permission from Judge Johnston's "New River 

Twenty-five years or more ago Mr. Sheffey had a regular preach- 
ing place on East River in Mercer County near the residence of 
Anderson Tiller, at whose house, when in the neighborhood, he 
made his stopping place. It was known that Mr. Sheffey was ex- 
ceedingly fond of sweet things, and especially of honey, and when 
on a preaching tour he went to fill this appointment on East River, 
and as was usual, became a guest of Brother Tiller. Being on a 
Sunday morning, and late in the summer season, while at breakfast, 
Mr. Tiller remarked to Mr. Sheffey that he regretted he had no honey 
for him — that his bees had done no good, had not swarmed, and 
he feared that they had frozen out during the winter, or something 
had destroyed them. Mr. Sheffey arose from the table, went down 
upon his knees, and told the Lord that his brother's bees had not 
swarmed, and that there was no honey in the house, and he im- 
plored to have the bees swarms. Scarcely had his petitiorh eeased, 
when the swarm came with such rapidity that Tiller was unable 
to secure rapidly enough sufficient gums to save them. There is 
no doubt about the truth of this incident. 

At a meetmg held by Mr. Sheft'ey at Jordan's Chapel, Dr. Bray, 
a physician in the neighborhood, took his wife, Mrs. Martha Bray, 
the mother of Mrs. Captain Frank Cox, now living in this city, and 
was present at the Sunday morning services, and had with ihem 
a nursing infant child, wdiich was taken suddenly ill about tlie close 
of the services. Mrs. Bray became alarmed and grief-stricken about 
the condition of her child, and in her paroxysms she cried out that 
her child was dying. A large nundoer of people were present, wdio 
gathered around the mother and child, supposed to be dying, when 
Mr. Sheffey appeared, and • being informed of the cause of the 
trouble, said, "Here, brother, give^me the little child;" and taking 
it in his arms, he fell upon his knees, and in a most earnest prayer 
to God, asked for the life of the little child, and that it might be 
restored to its mother. Arising from his position on the ground, 
he handed the child to its father, saying. "Here, brother, is your 
little child, well and all right." So it was. 


These are only a few of the many truthful and similar incidents 
which are related of this strange man. He had a wonderful faith 
in God's Providence — His care for His people, in providing for 
their wants, physical and spiritual. 

On one occasion he met a man in a road on a very cold day, and 
the man had on no socks. Mr. Sheffey, observing this, took off his 
own and gave them to the man. After riding some distance, he 
stopped at a house, and the lady of the house said to him that she 
had knit for him some nice pairs of socks, which she wished to present 
to him. 

He could not bear to see his horse suffering, or even any other 
animal — not even a bug if turned on its back ; and he has been 
known to dismount from his horse and turn the bug over. If he 
found a hungry dog or animal, he would give it his lunch, not eating 
it himself. When provided with lunch for a journe}^ through the 
mountains, the first hungry-looking dog he met, he would give it 
to the dog, and go hungry the remainder of the journey. 

On the upper waters of Bluestone, many years ago, was a 
whiskey distiller}^ operated by a man and his son. Mr. Sheffey 
stopped in the neighborhood at the home of a good Methodist 
family. The good wife of the house told him of this distillery, and 
that it was wrecking the lives of many of the young men in the 
community, and requested him to pray for its removal, which he 
promised to do. The lady inquired how long it would be before 
she might expect his prayer to be answered. He replied, about 
twelve months, and, sure enough, in twelve months the distillery 
was closed up and the owner and his son in jail. 

On another occasion, on Wolf Creek, near Rocky Gap, he was 
informed by a mother of a family of the existence of a distillery in 
the neighborhood which was proving a great evil, and requested 
to pray for its removal. He immediately went to the Lord in 
prayer, and asked Him to destroy the evil, and, if necessary, to send 
fire from heaven to burn it up. That night an old, dry tree took 
fire near the distillery, fell on the shanty, and destroyed the whole 


This gentleman is of English descent and a native of Mont- 
gomery County, Virginia, where his ancestors settled on their 
emigration to this country. He was born September 6. 1849, mar- 
ried Miss Ella Bransford, of Greenbrier County, a daughter of 


Henry Bransford, in 1876. He is by profession a civil engineer, 
architect and builder, and has supervised some of the substantial 
buildings of Hinton. He was the architect and contractor for the 
handsome brick residence of James T. McCreery on Temple Street, 
and the architect of the Chesapeake Hotel, now owned by H. Ewart, 
built by A. B. Perkins. Mr. Lavender, when' he first moved from 
Virginia, located in Ohio, then in Kanawha County, and settled in 
Hinton in 1882, and is one of the older residents. He was originally 
a Democrat in politics, but changed his views on the political 
parties, and in 1888 was the Republican candidate for surveyor of 
the county, and was the nominee of that party at a later election, 
but the party being in the minority, he was defeated in each in- 
stance. He assisted in the re-assessment of the real estate of the 
county in 1905 under the new tax laws of West Virginia, Jonathan 
Lee Barker being the assessor, with Mr. Lavender as assistant. In 
1900 he was the United States census enumerator for one-half of 
the county, along with the same Mr. Barker, who was the enumer- 
ator for the other half. Mr. Lavender is also a professional pho- 
tographer, which occupation he follows for a diversion. He is also 
local minister of the Methodist Church. By his courtesy we are 
able to get a cut of the old George Ballangee mansion at the mouth 
of Greenbrier River. 


Andrew Jackson Blake resides near Clayton Post Office. He 
is a native of Fayette County, and was born August 14. 1830. He 
was the owner of coal lands in Fayette County, and as develop- 
ments came, he sold and removed to the Clayton neighborhood in 
1901, along- with his sons. Marcus and Thomas Blake, and two 
other sons, Edward R. and William Preston. Edward lives in Ne- 
braska, and William Preston in Fayette. The Blakes arc all farm- 
ers by occupation. Democrats in politics and missionary Baptists. 
The father of Andrew Jackson Blake was William Blake, who was 
born in 1789 in the upper end of Greebrier County. He first settled 
near Fayetteville, and later near Mt. Hope, in Fayette County. The 
Blakes are of Irish descent. A. J. Blake married Mary Howery. 
January 16, 1881. He was a member of Company A. Edgar's Bat- 
talion, and was engaged during the war as a scout for two years. 
Marcus Blake married Rhoda E. Dotson, a daughter of Lazarus 
Dotson. Thomas married Minnie Knafe in Fayette County. Her 
father's name was Isaac Knafe, a native of Floyd County. Virginia. 


They purchased the old Joseph Hill place near Clayton. Air. A. J. 
Blake is a man seventy-seven years of age, hale and hearty, and 
a man of fine recollection. The Blakes are thrifty, enterprising, 
law-abiding citizens. 


John Aliller, Sr.'s father's name was Patrick Miller, which would 
indicate that the ancestor was an Irishman. Patrick Miller was 
born on the Atlantic Ocean while his parents were emigrating to 
America. Patrick Miller's father settled on the spot where the city 
of Staunton, Augusta County. Virginia, is built. I have but little 
information as to the life and movements of the great-grandfather, 
Patrick, but he was of Scotch-Irish descent. 

We have in our possession, by descent, a nunlber of very old 
and ancient books, which belonged to Patrick Miller, and have his 
name written on the fly-leaf thereof. I am not informed as to how 
many children he had, or where they settled. John, the senior, 
having some family differences, set out in the world for himself, 
and came to Lick Creek, in Greenbrier County, more than 100 years 
ago, bringing with him three negro slaves. Abe. Sarah and Minta, 
settling at the forks of Slater's Creek, Flag Fork and Lick Creek, 
on the farm, and built the house now resided in by A\'illiam Shu- 
mate, who purchased the same from J. W. Alderson. He came 
through the mountains over the Patterson Mountain, having mar- 
ried a Miss Jane Hodge, of Highland County, Virginia. The three 
slaves were given him by his father. He acquired title to ninety 
acres of land, originally, where his residence was built by first 
clearing out a small patch of ground and raising a crop of corn 
there, thus securing title by what was known as the best and surest 
— the "corn title." This crop of corn was raised in the yard of the 
present building. After raising this crop of corn he secured a 
patent to the ninety acres. 

He was a carpenter by trade, and built what was in those days 
a fine house, double-story,) hewed logs, with a dressed stone chim- 
ney; evidently before this, however, building a single-story log 
house, which was afterward used as a kitchen and quarters for the 
slaves. This kitchen had one of the old-fashioned chimneys at 
least ten feet wide, built of small stone, with a hickory hewed log 
for an arch. He made a portion, at least, of his own furniture of 
cherry and walnut; one, a large walnut, three-cornered cupboard, 
and the other, a book-case and desk and bureau combined, curiosi- 


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ties in this day. These pieces of furniture are as neat and as well 
finished as any we see in the modern days. 

He cleared up that fertile land and planted an orchard. Soon 
after he came, finding a wild bee tree, from which he got a start of 
bees, the same stock which is now held by C. L. Miller, of Foss, 
at this time, the stock being more than 100 years old. He was a 
Presbyterian, and Dr. McElheney ministered to his spiritual wants, 
visiting him once a month for many years. He owned his own 
still, manufactured his own spirits from the fruit raised in his 
orchard, and evidently enjoyed all of the liberties dreamed of by 
the persecuted peoples of the British Isles, so many of whom emi- 
grated to this land in the early days to escape from religious 
persecution and to secure the liberties of which they dreamed. He 
died at the advanced age of seventy-four years, from cancer. It 
first appeared on his hand, which was amptuated, and it appeared 
again on his body, and was incurable, his wife having died some 
time previously from a similar cause. 

This farm of John Miller, Sr., passed to his sons, Wm. E. and 
A. A., thence by them the home plantation was conveyed to James 
W. Alderson, and by him sold to William Shumate, who now re- 
sides thereon. The other lands of A. A. Miller passed to his chil- 
dren, and thence to his son-in-law, John A. George, who now lives 

John Miller, the direct founder of the family, was a native of 
Bath County, Virginia, born on the Cow Pasture River, October 
13, 1772. His wife was Jean Hodge, born in Highland County, 
Virginia, on Cow Pasture River, on' February 26, 1780. They re- 
moved to Lick Creek, then Greenbrier County, about the year 1800, 
and reared a family consisting of: Patrick Henry, born November 
26, 1803; James Hodge, born October 19, 1805; John Hamilton, 
born January 5, 1808; Robert, born July 21, 1810; Ervin Benson, 
born June 1, 1815; Jean, born November 12, 1812; Mary Ann, born 
July 27, 1821; Margaret Elizabeth, born December 16, 1823; An- 
drew Alexander, born June 6, 1818, and William Erskine, born 
August 19, 1825. 

John Miller, Sr., and Jean Hodge were married January 27, 
1803. Patrick Henry Miller and Margaret George were married 
and removed to Gentry County, Mo., where their descendants still 

James H. Miller and Aseneth Chapman were married May 25, 
1831, and he, after learning the tanner's trade with James Withrow, 
of Lewisburg, located at Gauley Bridge, then Virginia, where he 


engaged in the mercantile business for sixty years, continuing in 
active business until his death, the 23d of October, 1893, at the age 
of eighty-seven years, leaving surviving him one son, James Henry 
Miller, Jr., who -succeeded to the business founded' by his father. 
James H., the senior, was appointed postmaster at Gauley Bridge 
by President William Henry Harrison, and held the office until his 
death, more than forty years. He represented Fayette County in 
the Legislature, and filled other positions of trust. His son, James 
H., Jr., resides at the old homestead, and has continued successfully 
the business established by his father. He was elected sheriff of 
Fayette County, which position he resigned, and was also president 
of the county court, which position he held for six years, and suc- 
ceeded his father as postmaster at Gauley Bridge. His children 
surviving him are Fenton H., who married Mattie King; William 
Alexander, who married Pearl Helman ; Robert H., who married 
Leona Richmond ; Jane T.. who married James H. Miller, of Hin- 
ton, and Annie, who married Oscar L. Morris. 

Robert Miller and Ankey Alderson were married February 13, 
1834, and settled in Morgan County, Indiana, where their descend- 
ants still reside. 

Irvin B. and Sarah Alford were married September 1, 1836, and 
settled on Sewell Creek, in Fayette County. 

Andrew Alexander and Eliza Hinchman were married on the 

24th , 1846. After the death of the latter, on the 

9th of November. 1866, he was married the second time to Eliza- 
beth Thomas, of Centerville, Monroe County, on the 3d day of 
December, 1868. 

Mary Ann married Major Anderson A. McNeer, of Monroe 
County, on the 15th day of January, 1846. 

Jean Miller married Joseph Hill, of Putnam County, West Vir- 

Margaret E. and William B. McNeer were married on the- 14th 

of , 1843, and William E. Miller and Sarah Barbara 

McNeer were married February 8. 1849. 

Those of the family of John Miller, the senior, who settled on 
and near the old homestead, were William E., who, being the young- 
est, retained the home farm, which he still owned at his 'death, 
owning a tract of over 400 acres. Andrew Alexander located one- 
half mile below on Lick Creek, where he acquired a plantation, 
some 1,000 acres of good land, which he owned at his death. He 
erected a substantial brick dwelling, the second one ever erected 
in that section of the country, and was one of the most enter- 












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prising citizens, having been a captain of militia and justice of the 
peace before the war, and one of the first supervisors and members 
of the county court on the formation of the county, being one of 
the principal factors in the formation of the new county into a 
thriving municipality, representing the county in the Legislature 
for a term, 1880-1881, while the capital of the State was still at 
Wheeling. He left surviving him two sons, James Houston, who 
located at Waxahatchie, Texas, and is now the president of the 
National Bank of Waxahatchie, and the owner of a majority of its 
stock, and George A. Miller, of Hinton, capitalist, being president 
of the New River Grocery Co., and connected with many other in- 
dustrial enterprises. 

James H. Miller, Sr., had one daughter, Eliza Ann, who died 
many years ago, unmarried. His wife was Asenath Chapman, of 
Frankfort, Ky., who lived to the advanced age of ninety-three years. 

Andrew Alexander Miller married first Miss Eliza Hinchman, 
a daughter of William Hinchman, a descendant of an English gen- 
tleman who settled at an early day near Lowell. One daughter of 
A. A. Miller — Elizabeth — married John A. George, who lives at 
the old A. A. Miller homestead on Lick Creek, she having died 
some four years ago. His second wife was Miss Elizabeth Thomas, 
of Monroe County. 

WilHam Erskine Miller had four children, Charles Lewis, James 
Henry, Anderson Embury and Miss Mary Benson. Arvin Benson 
Miller left four sons, James William, who was engaged in the mer- 
cantile business in partnership with the late M. Hutchinson, whose 
daughter, J. Ellen, he married, removing to Hinton, where he now 
resides, being engaged in the hotel business, and owner and pro- 
prietor of the Hotel Miller; John A., who married Miss Sallie 
Knapp, resides at Ashbury, in Greenbrier County, and is engaged 
in the mercantile lousiness. His son, Dr. Roy Miller, is one of the 
surgeons at the Hinton Hospital; Olan Benson, who married Miss 
Virginia Baber, died in the year 1903. having been engaged in the 
mercantile business for many years at Alderson, West Virginia. 
Irvin also left sur\'iving him one daughter, Margaret Ann, who is 
living with her son, William, at Richmond, Virginia, at this time. 
She married Dr. Samuel Williams during the war on Lick Creek. 
Dr. Williams refugeed from Putnam County at the beginning of 
the war to Lick Creek, and there became acquainted with Miss 
Margaret Miller, and llicy were married. They resided at New 
Richmond for many years, where he died some twelve years ago. 
Dr. Williams weighed 3.S0 pounds, was very short in stature, was a 


man of magnificent learning, having been educated at the Uni- 
versity of Virginia and the University of South Carolina, although 
he was very careless in his habits. It was he who provided the 
West Virginia stone now in the Washington Monument, from the 
quarry at New Richmond. 

■Margaret E. Miller, who married William B. McNeer. located 
and resided on the Slater's Fork of Lick Creek until their deaths, 
about 1870, leaving two sons surviving them — John Caperton Mc- 
Neer, a resident of Fayette County, and William Newton McNeer, 
a resident of Charleston. 

Ervin Miller left four sons surviving him, Logan, who was killed 
in the War of the Rebellion ; John A., who is a merchant at Asbury, 
in Greenbrier County; James \V., the hotel man of Hinton, and 
Olin B., a merchant of Alderson, as above stated. 

John Miller, Sr., died November 25, 1854; Jean Miller, wife of 
John ^filler, Sr., died February 3, 1836; Jean Hill died November 
20, 1835; James Hodge Miller died October 23, 1893; Sarah Bar- 
bara Miller died February 6, 1896; Robert Miller died August 10, 
1887; Andrew A. Miller died March 26, 1898; John Hamilton Miller 
died February 18, 1811; Anky, wife of Robert, died July 2, 1890; 
Aseneth Chapman Miller died June 9, 1898. 


W^illiam Erskinc ]\Iiller was the youngest son of John Aliller, 
Sr., and was born on the old homestead, which is now owned by 
Mr. William Shumate, who purchased the property from J. A\'. 
Alderson, a son of L. M. Alderson, four years ago. 

The subject of this sketch was born August 18, 1825, and died 
on the 3d day of February, 1901. He was named for the late 
William Erskine, who built and at one time owned the Salt Sulphur 
Springs, in Monroe County, of whom he was a relative. W^e give 
below a sketch taken from the "Hinton Leader," written by Mr. 
John W. Graham, editor of that paper, immediately following his 
death : 

Death of William E. Miller. 

"William Erskine Miller, after an illness of several weeks with 
pneumonia, died at his home at Foss on Saturday the 3d inst., at 
12 :45 p. m. Funeral services were conducted at his home Sunday 
afternoon at one o'clock, by his pastor. Rev. H. A. Brown, of the 
Methodist Church, after which the remains were interred at Hill 

Salesmen for New River Grocery Company. 









Top Cemetery. Mr. Miller was born August 19, 1825 near Green 
Sulphur Springs, this county, formerly of Greenbrier County, Vir- 
ginia, where a greater part of his life was spent. About ten years 
ago he moved with his family to Foss, near the mouth of Green- 
brier, where his death occurred just three days before the fourth 
anniversary of his wife's death. He is survived by four children, 
Hon. James H. Miller, of this city; A. E. Aliller, of Beckley ; Charles 
L. and Miss Mary B. Miller, of Foss. 

"In his death Summers County loses one of her best and most 
honored citizens, the church one of its most consistent members. 
He possessed a combination of qualities rarely equalled and never 

"And, in addition to this, he was of a most unselfish character 
and most humane and merciful disposition, with a gentleness in 
domestic and social life which obtained the admiration of all who 
knew him, and added to these the character of a consecrated and 
devoted Christian. During his long career not a blot ever fell upon 
his character, not a blemish ever rested on his life. It might be 
truly said of him, 'If every person to whom he had spoken some 
kind M'ord, or for whom he had done some kind deed, could drop 
but one leaf upon his grave, he would bow beneath a wilderness 
of foliage.' " 

I also append a quotation from the "Hinton Independent Her- 
ald," referring to his death : 

"In his death this county loses an honest and upright citizen. 
Mr. Miller was an unassuming Christian gentleman. While a man 
of strong convictions, he was as gentle as a child, and obtruded his 
opinion on no one. He was not a politician, and despised chicanery 
of the demagogue; was never a candidate for any office, and refused 
political preferment. He was a soldier in the Confederacy, loyal 
to his government, his friends and his country. He leaves as a 
heritage to his posterity an honorable and good name. He had no 
enemies. 'Those who knew him best loved him most.' It is a 
pleasure to pay a tribute to a man of his character. The world 
is better for his having lived among us. His place, no doubt, can 
be filled, but will it be? He was of a generation fast passing away, 
which should be emulated and remembered. 

"He leaves surviving him three sons, Charles T... A. E. and 
James H., and one daughter. Miss Mary B.. who, with a large 
number of relations and friends, will cherish his memory and the 
honest, faithful, Christian character which he made and maintained 
throughout his long life of nearly seventy-five years. Mr. Miller 


was taken sick with pneumonia two weeks before his death, which 
was complicated with inflammatory rheumatism. His sufferings 
were fearful, but he bore them patiently, and his mind was clear to 
the last. He had been a consistent member of the M. E. Church 
South for forty years, and died in the faith of a Christian. His 
wife preceded him to the grave four years ago, nearly to the day, 
from the same dreaded disease, pneumonia. Funeral services were 
conducted at the residence on Sunday afternoon by his pastor, 
Rev. H. A. Brown, assisted by Rev. J. W. Holt, and the interment 
was at Hill Top Cemetery, where a large number had assembled 
to pay the last sad tribute to their departed friend." 

He was married to JVIiss Sarah Barbara McNeer, of Monroe 
County, who rests by his side at the beautiful Hill Top Cemetery. 
A handsome shaft has been erected b} their children to mark their 
last resting place. 

John Miller and Robert Miller, the seniors and half brothers, 
had a sister, Mary Miller, who married a Benson, who lived at 
Salt Sulphur Springs, and her daughter married William Erskine. 
Olive Benson Miller, Mary Benson Miller, Elizabeth Benson 
George (nee Miller) were named for this sister. 

John Alexander, of Monroe County, married Jane Miller, a 
daughter of Robert Miller, Sr., and a sister of John and Alexander 
Miller. John George married [Margaret, another sister. Another 
sister married Thomas Ferry, who early moved to the West. His 
son, Thomas, went to California in the days of '49 as a gold miner, 
secured a considerable fortune, and now lives at Green Sulphur 
Springs. He is a most estimable gentleman. Betsey, another 
daughter, married Grigsby Lewis. 

John Miller, Sr., resided in Bath County, \"irginia, until he re- 
moved to Lick Creek, ^^'hen he came his only means of transpor- 
tation was in a "Yankee jumper," a kind of sled made with the 
shaft and runner all of one pole. He came across the Patterson 
Mountain, down and over the Sugar Knob and onto Slater's Creek, 
and down that creek, where he located, bringing with him his wife 
and one child, then born, Henry Patrick. The first thing he did was 
to go to the Alderson's place a mile above and borrow a mattock to 
begin operations with, dig out a foundation for his cabin, and 
"grub" a corn patch -and locate his claim. He was an accomplished 
carpenter and cabinet maker. 

Thomas Miller, a son of Henry Patrick Miller, went to Cali- 
fornia during the golden era of '49 in search of the yellow metal, 
but never returned, and was lost sight of entirely. 


Robert Miller, who married Anky Alderson, a daughter of James 
Alderson, and emigrated to Indiana and settled in Morgan County, 
left Robert, Alexander, Oliver and John, sons, and Martha, who 
married Newton Sandey, of Paragon, Morgan County, Indiana. 
Other children of Robert and Anky Miller were Robert, Oliver, John 
and Alexander, now residing in that State, except Robert and 
Oliver, who are dead. 

The wife of the infamous Judge Harrison who reigned so 
viciously over the courts and the people of this section directly 
after the war, was a daughter of William Erskine, the founder of 
the Salt Sulphur Springs. After her separation from him she lived 
.in New Orleans, where their daughter, "Skippy" Harrison, mar- 
ried and now resides. 


I, John Miller, of the county of Greenbrier and State of Vir- 
ginia, do make this my last will and testament in the manner and 
form following, that is to say : 

Second. I wish my funeral expenses and all my just debts to 
be paid out of my personal property after my decease. 

Third. I gave to my son, Henry Miller, a tract of one hundred 
acres, joining to my home place, that I bought back from him again, 
that my son, Ervin B. Miller, now lives on, which I intend for his 
part of my estate. 

Fourth. I leave to my son, James H. Miller, one hundred dol- 
lars, to be paid by my sons, Andrew A. Miller and William E. 
Miller, two years after my decease. 

Fifth. I leave to my son, Robert Aliller, one hundred dollars, 
to be paid to him at my decease by my sons, Andrew A. Miller and 
William E. Miller. 

Sixth. The hundred acres of land T bought from my son, Henry 
P. Miller, which the write — was made to my son, Ervin B. Miller, 
lives on, and I intend for his part of my estate. 

Seventh. I leave to my sons, Andrew A. Miller and William E. 
Miller, my plantation on which I now live, to be as equally divided 
according to quantity and quality between my sons, Andrew A. 
Miller and WiHiam E. Miller, and if they can't agree about the 
divide, it is to be divided by disinterested persons, and 1 further 
leave all my personal estate of whatsoever kind I may have at my 
decease to the above-named A. A. Miller and W. E. Miller, to be 
equally divided between them, with the exception of what will be 


hereafter named, and after the above-named partition is divided 
and property my son, A. A. Miller, is to have choice. 

Eighth. I leave to my grandson, James R. Hill, one horse worth 
fifty or sixty dollars, and saddle and bridal, to be payed by my 
sons, Andrew A. Miller and William E. Miller, at my decease, which 
is to be his part of my estate. 

Ninth. I leave to my daughter, Mary Ann McNeer, my black 
man, Abram, and my black woman, Sarah, if they outlive myself, 
and I intend them to be her part of my estate. 

Tenth. I leave to my daughter, Margaret Elizabeth McNeer, 
my black woman, Minty, if she should outlive myself, and I intend 
that to be her part of my estate. 

And lastly, I wish no administration of my estate further than 
what I have left it to take possession of what I have left them, 
hereby revoking all former wills or testaments by me made. 

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and afifixed 
my seal this third day of July, 1846. 


A codicil to the last will and testament of John Miller, bearing 
date the third day of July, 1846 ; that is to say, I now will and be- 
queath to my son, William E. Miller, all my house and kitchen fur- 
niture, farming utensils and stock of sheep, and also my watch, 
given under my hand the twenty-fifth da}^ of September, 1854. 

(This will seems to have been written by John Miller himself 
in his own hand.) 

Charles Lewis Miller is the oldest of the sons of William Ers- 
kine Miller. He was born on Lick Creek on the 13th day of May, 
1852. He was educated in the public schools and at Oberlin Col- 
lege, Ohio ; taught school a number of years, learned telegraphy, 
and became a proficient operator, but never followed the business. 
He afterwards became agent for the C. & O. Railroad Company at 
Gauley Bridge, which position he held for ten years. Later, he 
located at the mouth of the Greenbrier River, where he has been 
engaged in farming, merchandising and other enterprises. He was 
never married. He was the projector, and constructed the steel 
bridge over the Greenbrier River at Foss. He built the first silo 
ever built in Summers County, which was a successful experiment. 
He is an up-to-date, modern farmer, and is connected with a num- 
ber of the business enterprises of the country. He is a stockholder 
in the Bank of Raleigh, New River Milling Company, Hinton Hard- 
ware Company and other local corporations. He was at one time 


deputy clerk of the County Court of Summers County, which po- 
sition he held until his resignation. He has been repeatedly re- 
quested to run for public office, including that of county clerk, 
sheriff and other positions, but has always firmly declined. 

Anderson Embury Miller was the third son of W. E, Miller; 
was born on the 1st day of October, 1859. He was raised on the 
farm and educated in the public schools, and has engaged in the 
mercantile business for a number of years. He was one of the pro- 
moters and founders of the New River Grocery Company, of which 
he has been general manager since its organization several years 
ago ; is one of the principal stockholders in the Foss Bridge Com- 
pany, and he and C. L. Miller own together that valuable property 
at Foss, part of the old William Pack plantation and ferry. He 
has never sought political preferment or been a candidate for any 
office. He is a stockholder in the Bank of Gauley; was one of the 
founders of the Bank of Raleigh, of which he was the first cashier, 
and with which he was connected for several years, until his resig- 
nation on account of his health. He is-a large stockholder in The 
Lilly Lumber Company, and numerous other local business enter- 
prises. His children are Owen E., Harry L., Faye, Josephine and 
Barbara Hutchinson. He was married to Jennie Irene Hutchinson 
June 22, 1887. 

The Oscar L. Morris mentioned in these pages, who married 
Annie Miller, is a direct descendant of the ancient settler, who was 
associated with Daniel Boone in the early settlement of the Kana- 
wha Valley for twelve years, and the name was then spelled "Mor- 
riss," as seen in the pioneer prints. 


The second son of William E. Miller and the fourth of the genera- 
tion of James H. Miller, was raised on the farm, and attended 
school with the neighborhood boys and girls in the old Gum School- 
house on Lick Creek, a celebrated place of learning in the early 
times. He was a student of James Huston Miller at Green Sulphur 
Springs in 1876; graduated in the class of 79 at Concord Normal, 
taking the two prizes contested for, one adjudged to him for the 
best original oration, "The Wrecks of Time"; the other for the best 
essay delivered at the commencement of that term, "The Ideals of 
a True Life." He taught school for thirty months ; four terms in 
Hinton, at Green Sulphur, on top of Hump Mountain, at New 
Richmond and White Sulphur Springs. He began the study of 


law with Hon. William Withers Adams at Hinton, writing in the 
clerk's otilice to pay expenses, and rooming in the jury room at the 
court house ; took a law course at the University of Virginia ; was 
admitted to the practice at the February Term, 1881. Soon after he 
formed a co-partnership with the late Elbert Fowler, which ter- 
minated with his death two and one-half years afterward, where- 
upon he formed a co-partnership with his old preceptor, W. W. 
Adams, which continued until his death in 1894, after which the 
partnership of Miller & Read was formed, which continued until 
the 1st of December, 1904. During the time from 1881 to 1905 he 
practiced his profession in Summers County, occasionally taking 
business in the adjoining counties of Monroe and Greenbrier. In 
1884 he was elected Prosecuting Attorney of Summers County, 
which office he held for sixteen years in succession, when he de- 
clined to again be a candidate for that position, but was nominated 
in 1900 for the office of State Auditor on the Democratic ticket, and 
was defeated, with the rest of his party ticket, by Hon. Arnold 
Scherr, the present accomplished Auditor, of West Virginia. In 
1904 he was nominated without opposition to the office of judge of 
the Circuit Court of the Ninth West Virginia Circuit, composed of 
Summers, Raleigh and Wyoming, and was elected by about 1,200 
majority in a Republican circuit over his opponent, Hon. Frank 
Lively, of Summers County, which position he now holds. He was 
unanimously selected as a delegate to the Chicago Convention of 
1896, which nominated William J. Bryan for President and Arthur 
Sewall for Vice-President. He was not an original Bryan man, 
for Bryan was then practically unknown as a statesman, orator and 
patriot; but voted on two ballots for J. C. S. Blackburn, of Ken- 
tucky, and then for Bland. Up until his election as judge, when he 
retired from politics, he was a delegate to each State convention 
of his party for the last twenty-five years, as well as to the Sena- 
torial and Congressional conventions of his district, the Third West 
Virginia, and was Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Com- 
mittee for the Third West Virginia District for some sixteen years; 
resigning in 1900, when he became a candidate for auditor, and in 
the campaign of that year he was selected unanimously as Chair- 
man of the State Democratic Committee for West Virginia, and 
conducted that campaign, with headquarters at Charleston, his 
assistants being Hon. W. E. R. Burns, John T. McGraw, Hon. 
Thomas B. Davis, Wm. E. Chilton and others. This was in the cam- 
paign of 1900, and which position he held until 1904, his term in 
that office being resigned upon his nomination for the judgeship. 


Others associated with him at headquarters were W. H. Garnett, 
C. C. Campbell and Frank A. Manning, of Summers County. He 
was Chairman for the Senatorial convention which nominated 
Hon. William Haynes for the State Senate, also which nominated 
John W. Arbuckle. 

On February 1, 1882, he was married to Jane Tompkins Miller, 
a daughter of James H. Miller, Jr., of Gauley Bridge. They have 
four children, James H., Jr., now a student at Randolph-Macon 
Academy; Grace Chapman, Jean and Daisy Corinne. He has been 
connected with a number of business enterprises in this section. He 
is president of the Greenbrier Springs Company, a director of the 
National Bank of Summers from its organization, president of The 
Hinton Hardware Company, stockholder in the Ewart-Miller Com- 
pany, and others. 

It was he and R. R. Flanagan who first projected a bridge across 
New River at Hinton, on the site afterwards occupied by the Hin- 
ton Toll Bridge Company. It was some ten years prior to the 
erection of the bridge, and they determined that the patronage at 
that time and population was not sufficient to justify the business 
investment, and it was abandoned for the time, and afterw^ards 
taken up by enterprising citizens and carried to a successful ter- 

He first adopted the profession of medicine and studied for that 
profession for some time under the celebrated Dr. Samuel \Y\\- 
liams, at New Richmond, but abandoned it for the law by reason 
of being unable financially to take the medical course required in 
that profession before entering the practice of the medical pro- 


The second son of Captain A. A. Miller is George Andrew, born 
on the 10th day of January, 1857, on Lick Creek, on the old 
Miller plantation, within fifty feet of where the Indians hid the 
night after they killed Griffith on Griffith's Creek, the last Indian 
incursion into this region of the country. (Griffith's Creek bore 
that name in 1777 at the date of the formation of Greenbrier County, 
and is named in the act of the General Assembly of Virginia, cre- 
atine that CQuntv, therefore the Griffiths must have settled in that 
region some time before that date.) George A. Miller was reared 
on the farm, attended the free schools at the Old Gum Schoolhouse, 
where so many of the youths of that day received their education ; 
also Lyle's Academy on Second Creek in Monroe County. At his 
majority he entered the mercantile business at Alderson with L. E. 


Johnson, now president of the Greenbrier Valley Bank, and George 
K. Gwinn, a son of Augustus Gwinn, now engaged in the hardware 
business in that town. The firm name was Johnson, Gwinn & Co., 
in which he retained an interest for some years. Later he traveled 
for a number of years for the old shoe house of Wingo, EUett & 
Crump, retaining, however, his citizenship through all these years 
on Lick Creek. He marr